Sunday, February 07, 2016

Top Shots

Some of the most compelling photographs from RFE/RL's broadcast region and beyond.

Maximishin's Life Work In 100 Moments

For the great Russian photographer Sergey Maximishin, choosing 100 of his best images for a book was too challenging a task to take on himself. In order to create an objective collection of his finest work, the 51-year-old enlisted the help of three trusted colleagues. The results are now on display in Prague’s Zahradnik Gallery. From a brooding Vladimir Putin to the flash of a ferryman’s gold teeth, Maximishin's photographs are at once journalism and art.

A Bird's-Eye View Of Eastern Europe

While Western Europe and the United States have tightened laws on drones, countries of the former communist bloc have been slower to close their skies to unmanned aerial vehicles. Over the past two years, RFE/RL photographer Amos Chapple has made the most of the free airspace to capture a series of unique photographs of monuments dating back to the Soviet past and beyond.

Pictures Of The Week

Some of the most compelling photographs from RFE/RL's broadcast region and beyond for the fourth week of 2016.

Living In Poverty Amid Azerbaijan's Black Gold

The Azerbaijani village of Novkhany near Baku is located right beside an oil field. RFE/RL photo reporter Petr Shelomovskiy went there to document the daily lives of local farmers and other inhabitants.

Georgia's Punks And Goths

Georgia's capital, Tbilisi, is known in the South Caucasus region for its relative ethnic and cultural diversity. That has also led to the emergence of a small punk community, and an even smaller goth scene with its macabre style and music. This photo story is part of ongoing work by British journalist and photographer Onnik James Krikorian on youth and subcultures in Georgia for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. For more photos by Krikorian, visit his website

Photos Of The Week #3

Some of the most compelling photographs from RFE/RL's broadcast region and beyond.

Azerbaijan Under Pressure

Protests in Azerbaijan have been met with a heavy security response. In a nation that depends on oil to keep the economic wheels turning, the continued slump in crude prices, along with the recent drop in value of the national currency, is putting enormous pressure on ordinary people. In recent years President Ilham Aliyev has spent billions on glittering vanity projects, especially in the capital, Baku. But with a government known for corruption and brutality, many Azeris are unimpressed with state spending on the capital’s skyline and the “caviar diplomacy” that has earned the country several recent sporting and cultural events. As the protests continue to simmer, there’s concern that a perfect storm of discontent may be brewing.

Photos Of The Week #2

Some of the most compelling photographs from RFE/RL's broadcast region and beyond.

One Man's Airport On Lake Baikal

Through the summer days of the Soviet era, Vladimir Prokopyev was a busy man. On a pristine island in Lake Baikal, the airport manager watched over the arrival of three or sometimes four flights every day. Then it all stopped. While Vladimir carried on with his tasks, the U.S.S.R. collapsed. In the hard new realities of the free market, support for the air service disappeared and the planes stopped coming. But Vladimir, now 86, is a man of duty. He had an airport to maintain and, for the past 20 years, ever hopeful that scheduled flights would return, that’s exactly what he’s done. (Photos by RFE/RL's Petr Shelomovskiy)

Armenians Face Cold Reality After Gyumri Massacre

The massacre of the Avetisian family one year ago shocked the Caucasus nation of Armenia. The killings left seven dead, spanning three generations, with the youngest victim just 6 months old. News that the lone suspect was a soldier stationed at Russia's 102nd Military Base, located in the northwestern city of Gyumri, left locals outraged. But despite this being only the latest in a string of violent incidents related to the base, many feel that without the presence of Russian military the very existence of Armenia would be threatened. Photos and text by RFE/RL's Amos Chapple

Central Istanbul Blast Kills At least 10

Turkish authorities say at least 10 people have been killed in an explosion in the center of Istanbul. The Istanbul governor's office said 15 other people were wounded in the blast, which occurred on January 12 in Sultanahmet district, a major tourist attraction. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan says a person of Syrian origin is thought to have been responsible for the blast. The Sultanahmet neighborhood is Istanbul's main sightseeing area and includes the Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, and the Blue Mosque.

Photos Of The Week #1

Some of the most compelling photographs from RFE/RL's broadcast region and beyond.

Photos Of The Week #53

Some of the most compelling photographs from RFE/RL's broadcast region and beyond

Celebrities Who Look Like Soviet Figures

News that French actor and newly minted Russian citizen Gerard Depardieu has been cast to play a 50s-era Josef Stalin in a new film left us pondering others who could fit the bill as famous Soviets.

2015: The Year In Photos

This was the year that terrorism and refugees dominated global headlines more than ever. Militants escalated their attacks from Syria to the streets of Paris, while over a million people fleeing conflicts poured into Europe. Here are some of the images which captured the top stories of 2015.

Photos Of The Week #52

Some of the most compelling photographs from RFE/RL's broadcast region and beyond.

Funeral Held For Senior Hizballah Militant Killed In Air Strike

Members of the Lebanese Shi'ite militant group Hizballah on December 21 attended the funeral of a senior militant, Samir Kantar, who was killed in an apparent air strike near the Syrian capital, Damascus, a day earlier. Hizballah leaders blamed Israel for carrying out the strike, in which eight other people died. Kantar had served nearly 30 years in an Israeli prison for killing an Israeli man and his 4-year-old daughter in 1979, but was released in 2008 in a prisoner swap. In the wake of Kantar's death, Israel and Lebanon briefly traded fire. (RFE/RL's Radio Farda)

Ukraine's Frontline Soldiers Prepare For Winter

Ukraine's 24th Mechanized Brigade is stationed at a checkpoint on the front line of the conflict in eastern Ukraine. By keeping chickens on site for fresh eggs, cooking for themselves, exercising, and praying in a chapel, the soldiers do their best to live normally while protecting against attacks from Russian-backed separatists. Some of the Ukrainian soldiers have been on the front line for eight months and can’t wait to get back home for Christmas. Thanks to some volunteers, the soldiers are provided with warm winter clothing and food. More than 9,000 people have been killed in the fighting in eastern Ukraine since March 2014. (RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service, Filip Warwick)

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