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.
Given the dramatic recent developments in Kabul and beyond, much of our content this week comes from Gandhara, an RFE/RL website focusing on Afghanistan and Pakistan that is a go-to source for English-language reporting by our networks of local journalists across the two countries.
Some of the key questions regarding the immediate future of Afghanistan with the Taliban at the gates of Kabul, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani leaving the country, and talks under way for a transfer of power to the hard-line Islamist insurgents. By Frud Bezhan
Afghanistan's vibrant media scene has changed drastically since the Taliban took over the country on August 15. State television now airs Taliban announcements and Islamic sermons while private TV networks have removed entertainment shows and replaced many female presenters with male colleagues. By Frud Bezhan
Iran -- which has in recent years built a working relationship with the Taliban, a former sworn enemy -- is watching the takeover of Afghanistan by the militant Islamist group carefully amid concerns about a refugee influx, potential instability, and terrorist groups finding a permanent foothold in a neighboring country. By Golnaz Esfandiari
In August 1991, a group of Soviet hardliners locked Mikhail Gorbachev up in his Crimean dacha and tried to keep the U.S.S.R. together by force. Facing massive protests, they gave up just three days after taking power, when the first civilian blood was spilled in Moscow. The Communist Party was banned after the coup's failure, and the Soviet Union officially broke up later that year -- putting 15 independent countries on the map. By Ivan Gutterman
Central Asian countries found out once again that no matter how many contingency plans there are for events in Afghanistan, there will always be surprises. By Bruce Pannier
Ukraine’s president says the fate of Crimea has fallen off the global agenda more than seven years after Russia seized the peninsula. Volodymyr Zelenskiy hopes an upcoming international gathering will change that. By Hanna Andriyevska
For Moscow, the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan marks the stinging defeat of a powerful rival and means one less U.S.- fueled battleground close to what Russia sees as its sphere of influence. But the chaotic vacuum the United States is leaving behind creates a new set of uncertainties and potential problems for the Kremlin. By Mike Eckel
An 18-minute video showing Bulgarian police brutally beating participants in anti-government protests last summer has set off a firestorm of controversy and questions of whether government institutions may have tried to cover up police crimes. By RFE/RL's Bulgarian Service