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.
When Siberia's wildfires first erupted in late June, Russia’s military sent heavy-lift transport planes to douse them. Now, volunteers fighting flames in a region known not for heatwaves but for extreme cold are saying they’ve been left to fend for themselves amid minimal government help. By Maksim Pakhomov and Saniya Yusupova
New Iranian hard-line President Ebrahim Raisi has chosen Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, a senior diplomat with good ties with the powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), as his foreign minister. A former ambassador to Bahrain and foreign policy aide to the parliament speaker, he is likely to be confirmed by lawmakers. By Golnaz Esfandiari
Photojournalist Anatoliy Stepanov talks about his experience covering the conflict in eastern Ukraine. By Oleksandra Vagner
New York, Ukraine, is a town of 10,000 inhabitants that was recently shelled by Russia-backed separatists. The origin of its name is a mystery. Some link it to 19th-century German settlers, but others point to evidence from the 18th century. In 1951, Soviet authorities renamed it Novgorodskoe, but last month the Ukrainian parliament voted to give the town its old name back. Whether it can revive the fortunes of a town whose population has been in decline since the collapse of the Soviet Union is another matter. By Ray Furlong and RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service
On August 9, 2020, Belarus was plunged into turmoil when protests erupted after an election that millions say was rigged extended the decades-long rule of authoritarian Alyaksandr Lukashenka. RFE/RL looks back at some of the highs and lows in Belarus since the election one year ago. By Tony Wesolowsky and RFE/RL's Belarus Service
'A Dangerous Commission': Russian Historians Alarmed As Putin Creates State Body On 'Historical Education'
Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered the creation of a state commission on historical education, to be headed by controversial former Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky. Many historians fear the new body marks a shortsighted intrusion of ideology into the study of history. By Mikhail Sokolov and Robert Coalson
Mikita Litvinenka is one of thousands of Belarusians who have been imprisoned for taking part in protests over the August 9, 2020, election, widely seen in the country -- and in the West -- as rigged. In July, he was sentenced to four years in prison. Despite the disproportionate sentence, Litvinenka said he does not resent those who imprisoned him, while his mother said she still hopes the protest movement will bring lasting change. By Current Time and RFE/RL's Belarus Service
The maneuvers focus on potential instability in Central Asia and how to deal with Afghanistan as U.S.-led foreign troops withdraw. By Reid Standish
In 2019, Anastasia Bryukhanova was disqualified from running for the Moscow City Duma because officials used dubious pretexts to invalidate many of the signatures she submitted. This time, she has taken extraordinary measures to get past this obstacle to run for the national legislature. By Ivan Voronin and Robert Coalson
Maksim, a young man who was photographed arm in arm with a riot policeman when Belarus's political future seemed to hang in the balance on August 9, 2020, speaks about his experience that night and why he believes sanctions won't change anything. By RFE/RL's Belarus Service