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.
Smart Voting is a successful voting strategy promoted by opposition leader Aleksei Navalny that makes the Kremlin -- and the ruling United Russia party -- nervous. It helps opposition-minded Russians vote for candidates deemed most capable of beating candidates from United Russia. Here's how it works. By Carlos Coelho and Mike Eckel
As a guerrilla insurgency, the Taliban was able to conquer Afghanistan. Governing the country is the difficult part. By Ron Synovitz and Abubakar Siddique
A ceremony to mark Serbian National Unity Day was held in front of a monument in Belgrade to 12th-century Serbian ruler Stefan Nemanja. The September 15 jointly declared holiday was first introduced last year in Serbia and Republika Srpska, the mostly Serb entity of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Critics say the call for the display of Serbian flags in the wider region is a provocation but Serbian President Alexander Vucic said that Serbs would never again apologize for displaying the Serbian flag. By Andy Heil, Marija Augustinovic, and Goran Katic
Desperate Afghans fled the violence during the Taliban's months-long offensive that led to it capturing Kabul, adding to a displaced population that already numbered in the millions. At the same time, foreign organizations that once provided food and medical aid were forced to leave the country. By RFE/RL's Radio Azadi
When a serious outbreak of COVID-19 struck a Russian ship in the remotest part of northern Krasnoyarsk Krai, the crew of 15 found their lives in the hands of a 25-year-old paramedic named Alyona Kirilovskaya. By Dina Vishnevetskaya and Robert Coalson
Tajikistan is the only neighbor of Afghanistan not trying to come to an understanding with the Taliban. Why is Dushanbe taking this unique stance and what will it mean going forward? By Bruce Pannier
Who Is Aleksandr Franchetti, The Russian Arrested In Prague And Wanted By Kyiv For His Alleged Actions In Crimea?
Aleksandr Franchetti, a 48-year-old Russian who has spent years in Prague, was arrested by Czech police over the weekend at the request of Ukraine, which wants to try him for his alleged role in Russia’s seizure of Crimea in 2014. Who is Franchetti and what was he doing on the Black Sea peninsula in 2014? By David Akselrod and Current Time
Kazakh farmers have taken to feeding their animals a sludge made of cardboard and water amid a drought that they say is the worst in living memory. It's estimated that thousands of animals have died, plunging farmers into poverty in Manghystau Province in western Kazakhstan. Some have predicted worse to come. "Winter is coming," said one farmer. "Hungry animals won't be able to survive the cold." Warning: Viewers may find the content of this video disturbing. By Manas Kaiyrtayuly, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service, and Ray Furlong
Millions are out of work, the country's foreign reserves are frozen, cash has mostly dried up, and markets are running low on imported goods and materials. Afghanistan's collapsing economy has had devastating personal impacts. By RFE/RL's Radio Azadi and Margot Buff