Saturday, May 28, 2016

A Look Back: Khadija Ismayilova's Life In Pictures

May 27 marks the 40th birthday of investigative reporter Khadija Ismayilova. Two day's earlier, Azerbaijan's Supreme Court ordered the RFE/RL journalist's release from prison. Ismayilova had been detained since 2014 on charges widely believed to be related to her reports linking the family of President Ilham Aliyev to large-scale corruption.

Top Shots

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

RFE/RL Journalist Ismayilova Released From Azerbaijani Custody

RFE/RL journalist Khadija Ismayilova walked free from an Azerbaijani prison and vowed to keep on working after the country's Supreme Court reduced her sentence from from 7 1/2 years in custody to a suspended term of 3 1/2 years.

The Soviet Union's Public Art Legacy

Across the former Soviet Union, colorful communist-era mosaics still adorn government buildings, housing blocks, and factory walls. Many celebrate industry and culture with artistic flourishes that belie their staid subjects. Photographer David Trilling found himself drawn to them again and again on his travels around Russia and Central Asia. (,

The State Of Mothers

Photographer Anastasia Kulagina and journalist Sofya Shaidullina discovered an unrecognized state in Russia: mothers of disabled children who are fighting a silent battle for their kids' rights. Unable to get adequate help from the government, they found their own institutions and charitable foundations. How? The authors spent 18 months documenting these women’s efforts.

On The Rails In Georgia

Trains move slowly through the landscape of Georgia, and that's exactly how Vakho Khetaguri likes it. The photographer, who works in stark black and white, recently exhibited his ongoing project on a form of transport that was once considered the height of progress in Georgia -- but is now used mostly by low-income travelers.

Photos Of The Week #20

Some of the most compelling photographs from RFE/RL's broadcast region and beyond. For more photo galleries, see our Picture This archive.

The Russian Empire Revisited

A century ago, photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokhudin-Gorskii traveled through the territory of the Russian Empire. Under the patronage of Tsar Nicholas II, he documented diverse people and places using an early color photography process of his own invention. In recent years, Prokhudin-Gorskii's work became an Internet sensation when digital technology enabled the photos' restoration to crisp, colorful representations of the early 1900s. A small group of enthusiasts began tracking down the exact places captured during the photographer's travels. The following pairs of photos, separated by a century of war, revolution, and changing borders, are remarkable for how little appears to have changed in more than a hundred years.

Photos Of The Week #19

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

Siberia's Burning Problem

As images come in of wildfires burning out of control in Siberia, a new study suggests that such fires are changing the ecology of the region permanently.

Powerful Car Bomb Kills At Least 52 In Baghdad

Iraqi officials have raised the death toll from a powerful car bombing in a Shi'ite neighborhood in the Iraqi capital to at least 52 people killed. The attack, which also wounded up to 65 people, several seriously, was one of the worst attacks in Baghdad in recent years. The explosion struck a crowded outdoor market in Baghdad's eastern district of Sadr City. The Islamic State extremist group claimed responsibility for the attack.

Pyongyang's Building Boom

The Pyongyang skyline is growing -- and not only with the vanity projects that represent the North Korean state. Despite sanctions and economic isolation, the capital is in the midst of a "mini boom."

Dodging The Taliban, Dreaming Of The Sea

Andrew Quilty stepped into an entirely new world when he left his native Australia three years ago. The 34-year-old photojournalist says he's gone from taking assignments that merely paid the bills to feeling passionate about everything he points his camera at.

Photos Of The Week #18

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

Battle Of The Nations

Wielding longswords and halberds, more than 750 fighters from 34 countries have descended upon the Czech Republic to compete in the Battle of the Nations on May 6. The medieval-fighting competition, which takes place over five days in Prague, pits national teams against each other in a number of categories, including women's 3 on 3. Blades are blunted as a precaution, but the fighting is full-contact and brutal -- as one would expect from a medieval battlefield.

Belarus Meets Texas Chicken

У Менску адкрыўся рэстаран хуткага харчаваньня Texas Chicken. У першыя паўгадзіны працы наведнікам абяцалі 52 бясплатныя абеды. Перад дзьвярыма сабраліся сотні людзей...

Photos Of The Week #17

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

In Her World: Living With Autism In Russia

At first sight, six-year-old Vera Bondik doesn't seem like an unusual child. She looks just like other children her age. The difference is that she will never make eye contact with you, talk to you, or listen to you. She lives in her own world, which no one else can enter. Vera is autistic.

The Surprising Story Behind Ukraine’s 'Tunnel of Love'

It’s one of the most photographed places in Ukraine. Visitors travel from around the world to see the famous tree tunnel running through the small western town of Klevan. As RFE/RL’s Amos Chapple discovered when he explored the site, Ukraine's “Tunnel of Love” can reportedly trace its origins all the way back to the tensions and secrecy of the Cold War.

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