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Emina Osmanovic is seen in her home in a refugee camp near Banovici, Bosnia-Herzegovina. Emina is among several thousand women still searching for the remains of their closest relatives 20 years after the Srebrenica massacre of 8,000 Muslim men and boys. She is searching for her son. She lost 15 close family members. "I don't know what is worse: To find his bones and know for sure that he was killed, that he is gone, or this waiting, suspense." (Reuters/Dado Ruvic)
The world in statistics. (Graphics designed by Helena Zabranska)
Six kilometers from the separatist-controlled city of Horlivka, Ukrainian forces of the 17th Army Battalion are holding their positions in the small town of Dzerzhynsk. The soldiers say that machine guns and mortar strikes can be heard almost every night, and that separatist fighters have approached within a few hundred meters of their camp. Their time is spent waiting for their next orders, or the next outbreak of violence. (Photos by James Sprankle)
The soldiers of the 23rd Motorized Infantry Battalion are serving in the Starobeshevskiy region of Donetsk. Their military unit was formed in April 2014 as the first defense unit of the Zaporizhzhya region. In May 2014, the battalion was redeployed to the Donetsk region, where its men served at checkpoints around Mariupol. (RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service)
Some of the most compelling photographs from RFE/RL's broadcast region and beyond. For more photo galleries, see our "Picture This" archive.
A four-day heat wave has killed more than 780 people in Karachi as the government declared a holiday in the southern Pakistani city to encourage people to stay home. The heat wave has coincided with severe electricity cuts and the holy month of Ramadan, when most Muslims do not eat or drink during daylight hours. Many of the deaths, among the elderly and poor have been caused by dehydration. Charities have been working to bridge the gaps in an overburdened and poorly funded public health system in the city of 20 million people, home to Pakistan's main stock market, central bank, and biggest port. Government health officials did not return calls seeking comment. Many of Karachi's wealthy have generators to run air conditioners to beat the heat, which reached 44 degrees Celsius over the weekend. Public services in Pakistan, a nuclear-armed nation of 190 million people, are starved of resources because of endemic tax evasion.
Armenian police used force and water cannons to clear a demonstration in central Yerevan after an overnight standoff with activists protesting against rising electricity prices. In the early hours June 23, special police forces moved to disperse a crowd of hundreds of protesters who spent more than nine hours seated in the street not far from the presidential compound.
Russian-backed separatists imposed a curfew in Donetsk in May 2014, shortly after seizing control of the city, ordering bars to close at 10 p.m. But the Gungubazz bar, famed for its Bohemian spirit, recently celebrated its 14th anniversary with an all-night party. (RFE/RL Current Time photographer Petr Shelomovskiy. (www.currenttime.tv))
Every week, thousands of migrants cross through Macedonia with the hope of eventually reaching the border of the European Union. They come from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Yemen, and West African countries, among others, often entering Macedonia from Greece. The government in Skopje has forbidden illegal migrants from using public transportation, and private drivers fear being charged with human trafficking, so most people in transit are forced to go by foot or bicycle. The trip is long and exhausting, but activists or local residents sometimes come forward to offer assistance. (Photos by RFE/RL's Balkan Service)
Search and rescue operations were continuing in the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, on June 15, a day after deadly floods swept through the city. At least 13 people have been confirmed dead and 10 others remain missing. The Tbilisi zoo was inundated by floodwater, killing some animals and allowing others to escape and roam the streets.
The small town of Avdiivka lies on the front line between Ukrainian troops and Russian-backed separatist forces. It has come under fire from both sides. Many houses have been destroyed, and power is intermittent. But the Avdiivka coke plant has kept going. The only major source of jobs and wages to local people, it is also one of the largest tax payers in Ukraine. By RFE/RL Current Time photographer Petr Shelomovskiy. (www.currenttime.tv)
Photographer Giuseppe Cacace visited the Azerbaijani capital to record some of the developments that are changing the face of that city, which is experiencing an often controversial construction boom fueled by an oil-rich economy.
Ukrainian emergency services said more than 300 firefighters were mobilized to battle a fire at a fuel depot outside Kyiv that triggered a powerful explosion.
In the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk, a stronghold of Russia-backed separatists, at least 1,000 people are living in basements and other makeshift bomb shelters, according to humanitarian aid workers. RFE/RL Current Time photographer Petr Shelomovskiy visited one shelter in Donetsk's Petrovskiy district that houses 40 people, including 19 children, in a cramped subterranean space. (www.currenttime.tv)
Since being annexed by Russia, Crimea has been described as a "Soviet reservation." Flags, banners, signs and architecture all recall Soviet times. Shortages of certain goods and isolation from the outside world reinforce the atmosphere of the communist era.
The Czech capital, Prague, is hosting the Khamoro World Roma Festival, a celebration of Romany culture from across Europe. The festival was founded in 1999 by a couple from Sarajevo who wanted to share the rich cultural traditions of a minority that faces frequent discrimination in many countries. Named for the Romany word for "sun," the Khamoro festival aims to spread the energy of Romany music and dance. (Photos by Margot Buff, RFE/RL)
Syrian authorities say Islamic State militants have advanced to within 2 kilometers of Palmyra, an ancient city with outstanding architectural heritage dating from the first century. The militants have caused significant damage to similar sites they have overrun in Iraq, posting videos of themselves destroying antiquities. UNESCO includes Palmyra on its list of World Heritage sites, describing it as one of the most important cultural centers of the ancient world -- a crossroads for local, Persian, Greek and Roman influences.
Opened in 1935 during the Stalin era, the Moscow Metro is an extravagant gallery of communist design, featuring Soviet artworks, statues, chandeliers, stained glass, and ceiling mosaics.
The Chukotka peninsula is Russia's most northeastern expanse, stretching into the Bering Strait less than 100 kilometers from Alaska. Travel to the sparsely populated region is usually restricted for non-residents because of its proximity to the United States. From the 1930s to the 1950s, Chukotka was part of the gulag prison camp system, and became the graveyard of tens of thousands of prisoners. Janyl Jusupjan of RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service recently traveled to Chukotka's Chaunsky district, where the remains of the gulag camps can still be seen in a forbidding landscape.
Every Thursday after Orthodox Easter, childless couples travel to the Samegrelian village of Tsachkuru in western Georgia to participate in an annual pilgrimage to the local Church of the Archangel. Local legend holds that if a couple comes three years in a row to engage in the ritual -- which involves bringing a toy cradle to be blessed by the local priest -- they will be rewarded with a child. Giorgi Gogua of RFE/RL's Georgian Service visited Tsachkuru on April 16 to capture images from the event.
A gay-rights activist has shamed some of her most rabid detractors by publishing their photographs along with the hate-filled messages they've sent her.
The game of lelo (goal) makes rugby or American football look dainty. It was once popular across Georgia, and some historians believe it goes back as many as 300 years. But it is now only played once a year in a single village in western Georgia called Shukhuti. (Giorgi Gogua of RFE/RL's Georgian Service)
Fierce fighting between government forces and pro-Russian separatists has left the eastern Ukrainian town of Debaltseve in ruins. Many of those who remain are pensioners, who struggle to survive without any money, water, or heating. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe has described the situation in Debaltseve as a "humanitarian catastrophe." (Photos by Petr Shelomovskiy for RFE/RL's Current Time TV program)
Armenian-American photojournalist Scout Tufankjian has traveled to more than 20 countries -- places as varied as Brazil, Ethiopia, India, and Russia -- to document the estimated 8-million-strong Armenian diaspora. Her new book, "There Is Only The Earth," comes as the world prepares to mark the April 24 centenary of the mass slaughter of Armenians by Ottoman-era Turks.
Hillary Clinton has officially announced her candidacy for the 2016 U.S. presidential race. A former lawyer and professor of law, Clinton arrived at the White House as the first lady when her husband Bill Clinton took office in 1993. She went on to become a senator for the state of New York, then made a bid for the democratic nomination in the 2008 presidential race, losing to Barack Obama, who would later name her secretary of state. Here is a look back at Clinton's life in politics.
The deadly bomb attacks on the Boston Marathon in April 2013 had a devastating impact on many lives.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's conviction for the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings marked the end of a long road for the ethnic Chechen, whose family emigrated to the United States in 2002.
Five years ago, on April 7, 2010, thousands of people rallied in the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek, to demand the resignation of President Kurmanbek Bakiev, whom they accused of corruption and abuse of power. The protests erupted into violent clashes between demonstrators and riot police that left many dead or injured. Within days, Bakiev resigned and fled the country.
The conflict in eastern Ukraine has displaced hundreds of thousands of people from their homes. Many of them are traumatized by what they have experienced. In a forest near Kyiv, a camp has been set up to help children and teenagers. Volunteers renovated a 1950s sanitorium, and psychologists work with the kids over a three-week period. Serhii Korovainyi of RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service asked them about their dreams for the future.
In 1888, the "Scramble For Africa" was nearly over. European powers had carved out their colonies, and Imperial Russia still lacked a "place in the sun." But adventurer Nikolai Ivanovitch Achinov came up with a bizarre plan to create a Russian territory in what is now Djibouti. The following year, he and a small group of Cossacks raised their flag above the village of Sagallo. But after French objections, the tsar disowned them and the colony lasted less than a month.
Crowds of Czech citizens waved American flags to welcome a U.S. military convoy as it arrived on the outskirts of Prague on March 30. The 2nd Cavalry Regiment was en route to Germany from the Baltic countries, where the troops had conducted a six-month training mission with their NATO allies. The convoy covered more than 1,000 kilometers in recent days to show support to Eastern European allies worried by Russia’s actions in Ukraine. The convoy prompted a few small protests, mostly led by the Czech Communist Party, in contrast with much larger rallies held by supporters.
An Afghan woman who was beaten to death by a mob after purportedly burning a copy of the Koran was buried in Kabul on March 22. The coffin of Farkhunda, known by only one name, was carried to the graveyard by women's rights activists amid crowds of men. The crowd demanded the government bring the killers to justice. Mohammad Zahir, a high-ranking Interior Ministry official, said no evidence had been found "to support claims that she had burned a Koran."
Visitors to the Perm-36 museum in the Urals can stroll through a well-preserved prison camp of the Gulag system established by Soviet leader Josef Stalin. But despite the authenticity of the site, the museum's new curators are downplaying the camp's role in the repressions of the Stalin era. (Photos by Tom Balmforth, RFE/RL)
A few Armenian villages are home to communities of Russian Molokans -- a religious splinter group sometimes known as "Spiritual Christians." Having rejected the authority of the Orthodox Church, Molokans faced persecution for centuries under the Russian tsars. By the end of the 19th century, many had resettled in remote areas of the Caucasus, Siberia, and Central Asia. Others remained in southern Ukraine and Russia, or migrated to Romania's Danube Delta region or the western United States. Photographer Anthony Georgieff visited the villages of Fidosovka and Lermontovo in Armenia where Molokans continue to live an isolated and traditional way of life.
Israel is holding early elections called by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that opinion polls suggested were too close to call. As the world watches what impact the results will have on the deadlocked Israeli-Palestinian peace process, these hand-painted photographs from 1919 show life in a region that is very different from the Middle East of today. Nevertheless, the tensions that drive the current conflict were already simmering under the surface.
Some of the most compelling photographs from RFE/RL's broadcast region and beyond over the past seven days. For more photo galleries, see our Picture This archive.
Andrei Zakirzyanov presents his take on the Russia-Ukraine crisis in a series of political cartoons for RFE/RL's Current Time TV program.
There are about 200,000 people living in Hong Kong in what the government calls "inadequate housing", including cubicle apartments and cage homes -- wire mesh hutches stacked on top of each other. Hong Kong leader Leung Chun-ying took power in 2012 with a pledge to make housing more affordable, but since then both home prices and the waiting list for public housing have jumped by a third, stoking calls for him to step down. Moving the city underground, creating man-made islands and sea reclamation are among the options proposed by the government to increase available land. Hong Kong's 6,800 hectares of reclaimed land -- about 6 percent of its territory -- already houses 1.9 million people.
Iraq’s government says Islamic State (IS) militants have begun bulldozing the remains of the ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud in northern Iraq in their latest attack on the country’s historical heritage.
Some of the most compelling photographs from RFE/RL's broadcast region and beyond. For more photo galleries, see our Picture This archive.
Tens of thousands of people joined a march in the heart of Moscow organized by Russia's opposition in memory of slain Kremlin critic Boris Nemtsov.
At least 162 people have died in a series of avalanches in mountainous regions of northeastern Afghanistan. Officials said on February 25 that most of the victims were in Panjshir Province, where heavy snowfall in recent days destroyed more than 100 homes and blocked main roads. The death toll was expected to rise, as other victims are believed to be trapped under the snow.
Iranian documentary photographer Milad Alaei, a former employee of the semiofficial Fars news agency, recently fled Iran and is now seeking asylum in Austria. Alaei told RFE/RL that he decided to leave after his editor assaulted him. He filed a complaint, but was met with threats and legal charges including “disrupting public opinion” and “ties with media opposed to the Islamic establishment.” Here are some of Alaei's photos that have been barred from publication in Iran.
Бывший зять президента Казахстана Рахат Алиев найден мертвым 24 февраля в тюрьме в Вене.
Dark comedy Birdman bagged four Oscars, including Best Movie and Best Director, at the 87th annual Academy Awards in Hollywood. Ida, the story of a Polish girl about to become a nun, won Best Foreign Language Film - defeating the much-fancied Russian entry Leviathan.
The Murghab district of Tajikistan sits high in the Pamir Mountains, a range sometimes referred to as the Roof of the World. Tourists often visit in summer to see the pristine landscapes and wildlife like the Marco Polo sheep, but few outsiders venture here during the harsh winter. But Ubaidylda Shaimov, who was born here and now lives in Kyrgyzstan, was undeterred by the cold weather when he went to visit the remote village of Bash-Gumboz, near the Afghan border. Shaimov filed these photographs of his former home high in the mountains.
Afghanistan's national cricket team this week made its first appearance at a World Cup tournament, currently under way in Australia. The team's results so far have been mixed, but its debut at the biggest event in the sport has been a source of joy and inspiration for many Afghan fans. Cricket is widely popular among young Afghans, and children across the country can be seen honing their skills morning and evening.
Some of the most compelling photographs from RFE/RL's broadcast region and beyond for the eighth week of 2015. For more photo galleries, see our Picture This archive.
Some of the most compelling photographs from RFE/RL's broadcast region and beyond for the seventh week of 2015. For more photo galleries, see our Picture This archive.
The list of winners has been announced for one of photojournalism's most eagerly awaited global events. The top prize this year went to Danish photographer Mads Nissen for capturing an intimate moment between a young gay couple in Russia, where the LGBT community faces increasing legal and social discrimination. Some of the other highlights here include images of a young girl wounded in clashes between mourners and Istanbul police, the remains of a passenger from the Malaysian airliner shot down over the wheat fields of eastern Ukraine, the pardoning by an Iranian mother of her son's killer at the gallows, and the creeping tragedy of the Ebola virus.
As the conflict escalates in eastern Ukraine, thousands of animals have found themselves caught up in the human tragedy unfolding around them. These poignant images of dogs, cats, and livestock in a war zone serve to underline the disruption and chaos unleashed by the violence in the Donbas region, which has already claimed more than 5,000 lives. (WARNING: Contains images some viewers might find upsetting.)
Some of the most compelling photographs from RFE/RL's broadcast region and beyond for the sixth week of 2015.
Ukrainian military forces are helping civilians evacuate the town of Debaltseve, which has been caught in the middle of heavy fighting. Residents have been struggling to survive without access to gas, electricity, or running water. Photographer Petr Shelomovskiy captured the scene as evacuees boarded buses to leave the embattled town. (RFE/RL's Current Time TV program)
The eastern Ukrainian town of Debaltseve has been under siege for weeks as military forces trade fire with pro-Russian separatists. Civilians are taking shelter in their basements as shells land close by. With little hope of a cease-fire, many residents are fleeing the town with the help of military servicemen and volunteers. (Photos by Petr Shelomovskiy for RFE/RL's Current Time TV program)
It's 70 years since the conference that set the tone for the division of Europe and the Cold War. Soviet leader Josef Stalin hosted U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill at the Crimean Black Sea resort of Yalta to discuss arrangements in Europe after the defeat of Nazi Germany. It was agreed Germany would be divided into four separate zones of occupation. In addition, Stalin demanded the establishment of a Soviet sphere of influence in Eastern Europe -- eventually establishing a chain of communist satellite states.
The eastern Ukrainian town of Debaltseve is at the center of the latest clashes between the Ukrainian military and pro-Russian separatists. As shells strike residential areas, some civilians have retreated to their basements for safety. Many have been living without electricity, gas, or water for over a week. Photojournalist Petr Shelomovskiy covered the harsh realities of daily life in Debaltseve for RFE/RL's Current Time TV program.
Some of the most compelling photographs from RFE/RL's broadcast region and beyond for the fifth week of 2015.
Just a few years ago, travelers to Transdniester, a Russian-backed breakaway region of Moldova, would encounter a living museum of the Soviet Union, where the hammer-and-sickle remained on city walls alongside red banners and propaganda billboards. In the early 1990s, when Transdniester's declaration of independence from Moldova ignited a brief war, its self-declared leaders showed little will to modernize. Years later, only limited tourism is officially condoned, although currency-exchange offices are ubiquitous, and a growing subsistence economy fuels the shops and market stalls of the capital, Tiraspol. (Photos by Anthony Georgieff)
In August 2014, Russia announced it was banning foreign food imports to punish the West for imposing economic sanctions over Ukraine. Since then, the country has scrambled to fill emptying market shelves with locally made alternatives to Finnish yogurt, Dutch cheese, and Italian mozzarella, whose packaging appears intended to fool Russian shoppers. Sergei Chernov, a journalist and photographer based in St. Petersburg, takes a look at some recent mealtime options, many of which appear to involve processed cheese.
Ukraine’s Interior Ministry says 15 civilians were killed and 46 injured on January 24 when the government-held port city of Mariupol was targeted by heavy barrages of Grad rockets as part of a Russian-backed separatist offensive. The local mayor’s office said a crowded market was hit and other buildings were in flames in a southeastern residential district of Mariupol near roads that have come under attack from Russian-backed separatists in recent days. (WARNING: Viewers may find some of these images disturbing)
Some of the most compelling photographs from RFE/RL's broadcast region and beyond for the fourth week of 2015. For more photo galleries, see our "Picture This" archive.
Horsemen competed in a winter tournament in buzkashi, also known as kokpar, in the eastern Uzbek city of Parkent on January 21. In the Central Asian sport, which is often compared to polo, riders compete to grab a goat carcass and carry it toward a goal. The players at the Parkent games included ethnic Kazakhs, who make up a sizable part of eastern Uzbekistan's population, as well as ethnic Uzbeks and others. (Photos by Umida Ahmedova of RFE/RL's Kazakh Service)
Amid intense fighting in Donetsk, a shell hit city hospital №3 on January 19. The hospital is located in a separatist-held area. The cardiology department was destroyed, and other parts of the hospital were also damaged. A number of the patients were evacuated to another hospital in the city.
It's 25 years since "Black January," what Azerbaijan calls the time when Soviet troops killed more than 200 people in a bloody but doomed attempt to save the Soviet Union. Thousands of people were arrested and local TV transmitters were blown up. But the crackdown only strengthened the local independence movement, and the following year Azerbaijan became a sovereign state.
Tens of thousands of Chechens joined an official rally against the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo on January 19, denouncing its cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. The protest was addressed by Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, who described the cartoons as "vulgar and immoral."
Reuters caption: Tens of thousands of people staged the rally on January 19 in Chechnya against French magazine Charlie Hebdo's cartoons of the prophet, which the predominantly Muslim region's leader denounced as "vulgar and immoral".
Some of the most compelling photographs from RFE/RL's broadcast region and beyond for the third week of 2015. For more photo galleries, see our "Picture This" archive.
More than 1 million people and dozens of world leaders are taking part in a silent march through Paris on January 11 to honor the victims of the deadly January 7-9 terrorist attacks in the French capital.
Some of the most compelling photographs from RFE/RL's broadcast region and beyond for the second week of 2015.
Cartoonists around the world have united in solidarity with the four French cartoonists of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo who were killed in an attack on its offices in Paris on January 7 by masked gunmen.
At least 11 people, including two police officers and one journalist, have been killed in a shooting at satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris. Police said 10 people were wounded in the January 7 attack on the weekly, which has drawn repeated threats for its caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.
RFE/RL Kazakh Service political cartoonists Ansa Mustafa, Sabit Kurmanbekov, and Galym Smagululy take a satirical look at 2014.
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