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 ongoing developments in Kabul, we are also including content here from Gandhara, an RFE/RL website focusing on Afghanistan and Pakistan that is the go-to source for English-language reporting by our network of local journalists across the two countries.
'A Dress Rehearsal': Russia's Marred Duma Elections Could Point The Way For 2024 Presidential Ballot
With unprecedented repressions and accusations of widespread fraud through a broad array of mechanisms, the controversial elections for the State Duma are seen as an indicator of what is to come when President Vladimir Putin's fourth term in the Kremlin comes to an end in 2024. By Robert Coalson
The decision by Google and Apple to remove Aleksei Navalny's Smart Voting app provoked anger among his supporters. But analysts say Russia has significant leverage over the trillion-dollar companies -- particularly if they're unwilling to abandon a large and lucrative market. By Todd Prince
Tajikistan's national air carrier is on the brink of collapse. An RFE/RL investigation suggests the company's downfall has been orchestrated by its own top managers in an attempt to bolster the fortunes of the president's family. By RFE/RL's Tajik Service
There are so many placentas being stored at the biggest hospital in Kosovo, the doors to the freezers where they are stored cannot close and they have been rotting. The terrible smell and unsanitary conditions came about due to delays over finding a new private contractor to dispose of them. Another clinic at the same state hospital in Pristina has a similar problem with the disposal of amputated limbs. But the city and national governments have, so far, done nothing to correct the problem. By Arton Konushevci, RFE/RL's Balkan Service, Ray Furlong, and Arben Hoti
Russian blogger and diver Yegor Lesnoi has been cleaning at least half a ton of tires from the bottom of Lake Baikal for several years now. He tells RFE/RL's Siberia.Realities how he became a volunteer, cleaning not only the legendary lake's bottom, but the shore as well. By Sania Yusupova
Ramzan Kadyrov, the strongman leader of Chechnya, has been overwhelmingly reelected for another term in voting held across Russia on September 17-19. The result came as a surprise to no one, as the election was widely seen as merely symbolic and he faced no real challenger. Kadyrov's long reign in Chechnya has come at a grave cost to human rights and civil liberties in the southern Russian republic. Yet many accusations of abuse go unacknowledged and uninvestigated. What makes Kadyrov's rule so unique in Russia? And how does the Chechen leader continue to act with such impunity? By Kaisa Alliksaar and Kristyna Foltynova
The Turkmen president’s son comes of presidential age and the highest legislative body in the country convenes on Independence Day. Is the long-awaited succession coming? By Bruce Pannier
Following the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan, the previous government's funding for a school for Afghans in Tajikistan's capital was cut off. A school official hopes wealthy Afghans can step in, but so far, parents of the students have had to help cover the costs to pay rent for the school. Rising school fees may reach a level out of reach for some families. By Barot Yusufi, Ray Furlong, Shahlo Abdulloeva, and Alisher Zarifi
Iranian rapper Toomaj Salehi has been charged with "spreading propaganda" against the Iranian state. His lyrics criticize the Islamic regime for its domestic and foreign policies. By Golnaz Esfandiari
Richard Arinze Ogbunuju, a Nigerian who has lived in Georgia since 1996, is the first Black candidate to run for mayor of Tbilisi. Ogbunuju speaks about being an heir to a noble family, and some years ago held a ceremony in Georgia to take the title of king of his local community back in Nigeria. During his run for office, Ogbunuju has witnessed some xenophobic reactions from Georgian voters, but he believes the capital is ready for a groundbreaking leader. By RFE/RL's Georgian Service