The videos produced by RFE/RL in 2009 covered a range of subjects from corruption and catastrophes to celebrations and success against impossible odds. Here are five of the top videos that show life in our broadcast region and the hopes and hardships of the people who live there.
Migrant Express Part 1: Good-bye Dushanbe
(Full series here)
Thousands of migrants travel from Tajikistan to Russia each year in search of work. For many, the trip begins with a grueling four-day train journey from Dushanbe to Moscow, during which they endure police and border inspections, cramped quarters and brutal heat. RFE/RL correspondents Mumin Shakirov and Alexander Kulygin traveled with a group of Tajik migrants on one such journey, experiencing the same hardships and recording the stories, hopes, and fears of four people seeking work in Russia.
Young And Homeless In Almaty
In Almaty, as in many cities, there are homeless children who have fled abusive families or other domestic problems to fend for themselves on the streets. On the eve of International Children's Day, Yermek Boltayev of RFE/RL's Kazakh Service got to know one such teenager, 16-year-old Sava.
After the Flood
On August 17, 2009, a massive blast destroyed a turbine at the Sayano-Shushenskaya power station in Siberia, causing major flooding and killing 75 people. A government report found that years of bad decisions and neglect set the stage for the accident, but many Russians are unsatisfied with the explanations offered. RFE/RL Russian Service correspondent Alexander Kulygin visited the town of Cheryomushki and spoke to the survivors who lost friends and family in the disaster.
A Neighborhood for the Blind In Tbilisi
The neighborhood of Ponichala in Tbilisi is home to many of the city's blind residents. Many live in poverty and suffer from a sense of isolation. But some blind residents enjoy the benefits of living near one another and sharing their troubles. Produced by Eka Kevanishvili for RFE/RL’s Georgian Service.
In Mongolia, A Changing Nomadic Way of Life
Mongolia is home to one of the world's few remaining nomadic cultures, with some 40 percent of the population raising animals on the steppes. But economic and social changes are forcing many Mongolians to leave their traditional ways behind. Migrants are arriving in the cities by the thousands, while others have turned to the booming mining industry in search of a better life. Produced by Margot Buff for RFE/RL’s Central News.