Hey, you're busy! We know rferl.org isn't the only website you read. And that it's just possible you may have missed some of our most compelling journalism this week. To make sure you're up-to-date, here are some of the highlights produced by RFE/RL's team of correspondents, multimedia editors, and visual journalists over the past seven days.
A new book reveals how legendary Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci was tracked, humiliated, and abused by the communist secret police and her trainers before her defection to the West in 1989. By Alison Mutler
'Undesirable' And 'Foreign': How Russia Is Muzzling The Media In An Escalating Crackdown
Recent weeks have seen a spate of police raids on independent media companies and the homes of journalists in Russia, as part of an intensifying crackdown. Kremlin-critical media face fines, arrests, and violence. Some journalists are relocating to other countries to avoid an increasingly hostile environment. By Ray Furlong and Current Time
The ongoing crackdown in Russia has targeted opposition activists, independent journalists, prominent civil-society organizations, lawyers, artists, academics, and more. Is it the prelude to another Kremlin-managed election or a sign the country is being reshaped for the long term? By Mumin Shakirov, Aleksandra Vagner, and Robert Coalson
Kyrgyz Heavy Metal: Inside The Mercury Mine Of Aidarken
The huge mercury mine at Aidarken in Kyrgyzstan once supplied the entire Soviet Union. It now produces a fraction of its former output, with many of its shafts still filled with floodwaters that took it out of service from 2009 to 2019. By Ray Furlong and Current Time
In recent days, several Russian political activists from Murmansk to Khabarovsk have been sentenced to compulsory psychiatric or other medical treatment. Human rights groups have been warning for years about the increased use of such Soviet-style practices as a tool against dissent. By Olga Beshlei and Robert Coalson
Belarus Sent Hit Squads To Kill Lukashenka Critics, Says Man Who Found Activist's Body In Kyiv
The man who found the body of Belarusian activist Vital Shyshou in a park near his home in Kyiv is blaming the Belarusian government for his death. Yury Shchuchko told Current Time that he was briefed by Ukrainian intelligence officials that hit squads had been sent to Ukraine to "liquidate" them. Shchuchko was a close associate of Shyshou at the Belarusian House in Ukraine (BDU), which helps Belarusians fleeing persecution by the regime of Alyaksandr Lukashenka. He said Shyshou's face showed signs he'd been beaten up before his death. Shyshou was found hanged in the wooded area of a park. By Ray Furlong, Current Time, and RFE/RL's Belarus Service
After a body tied to Russia’s Culture Ministry announced a probe of the country’s leading theaters to check their compliance with government policy, the minister herself suggested the idea was misguided. Kremlin critics say the latest sign of increased scrutiny of the arts testifies to a drift toward paranoia and conservatism. By RFE/RL
Shared By Russia And China, A Remote Island Is Not Quite Ready To Be A 'Window To Asia'
Bolshoi Ussuriysky Island, an outpost on the Amur River in the Far East, was disputed by Russia and China for decades, but it has now been divided almost equally between the neighbors. The Chinese call it Heixiazi Island. Developers have put forward plans to make it an important gateway for trade and travel, but on the Russian side most people live in dilapidated homes with minimal infrastructure. By Harutyun Mansuryan, Stanislav Feofanov, and Current Time