The city administration in Donetsk, one of two separatist-held provincial capitals, said five people were killed when shells hit a cultural center on January 30 and that two others were killed when a shell hit a trolleybus. The Ukrainian military, meanwhile, said that five of its soldiers were killed and 23 wounded in the previous 24 hours. It said rebels used mortars, rockets, and artillery in attacks on government positions at Debaltseve, a key junction between Donetsk and Luhansk. Rebels accuse the Ukrainian military of targeting civilian areas, while the government and rights groups say the separatists put civilians at risk by firing from civilian areas.
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.
Some of the most compelling photographs from RFE/RL's broadcast region and beyond for the fifth week of 2015.
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.
Here are some of images from RFE/RL's broadcast region as Orthodox Christians around the world mark Christmas on January 7, when the holiday falls according to the Julian calendar.
RFE/RL Kazakh Service political cartoonists Ansa Mustafa, Sabit Kurmanbekov, and Galym Smagululy take a satirical look at 2014.
Some of the most compelling photographs from RFE/RL's broadcast region and beyond for the first week of 2015.
When you think of Christmas, seldom does Iran come to mind. But in the Islamic republic, Christmas is celebrated in public, unlike many countries in the region. Despite being a strictly Shi'ite Muslim country, there are church services in major cities, where some shops are decorated with banners, snow globes, candy canes, and Santa Claus figures. In Iran, celebrating Christmas has become gradually popular over the years, particularly among young people, regardless of religion. The Islamic republic has around 100,000 Christians, most of them ethnic Armenians.
Some of the most compelling photographs from RFE/RL's broadcast region and beyond for the 52nd week of 2014. 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 51st week of 2014. For more photo galleries, see our "Picture This" archive.
In 2014, Ukraine spiraled into civil conflict, fresh violence shook Gaza, and the Islamic State militant group seized swathes of Iraq and Syria. These are some of the photographs that tell the stories of the year.