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Photos Of The Week #52

Some of the most compelling photographs from RFE/RL's broadcast region and beyond. For more photo galleries, see our "Picture This" archive.

A Nepalese mahout gives his elephant a morning bath at Sauraha in Chitwan, some 150 kilometers southwest of Kathmandu, during the Chitwan Elephant Festival. (AFP/Prakash Mathema)
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A Nepalese mahout gives his elephant a morning bath at Sauraha in Chitwan, some 150 kilometers southwest of Kathmandu, during the Chitwan Elephant Festival. (AFP/Prakash Mathema)

Argentinian Greenpeace activist Camila Speziale (center) hugs a relative as her father, Nestor (right), looks on after her arrival in Buenos Aires on December 28 following 100 days in detention in Russia. (AFP/Alejandro Pagni)
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Argentinian Greenpeace activist Camila Speziale (center) hugs a relative as her father, Nestor (right), looks on after her arrival in Buenos Aires on December 28 following 100 days in detention in Russia. (AFP/Alejandro Pagni)

Greenpeace International Dutch activist Mannes Ubels jumps for joy with his passport and Russian transit visa in hand outside of the offices of Russia's Federal Migration Service Department in St. Petersburg. (AFP/Olga Maltseva)
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Greenpeace International Dutch activist Mannes Ubels jumps for joy with his passport and Russian transit visa in hand outside of the offices of Russia's Federal Migration Service Department in St. Petersburg. (AFP/Olga Maltseva)

Soldiers walk past a gun carriage during the funeral for Mikhail Kalashnikov, designer of the iconic AK-47 assault rifle, in Mytishchi, Russia. (AFP/ Vasily Maximov)
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Soldiers walk past a gun carriage during the funeral for Mikhail Kalashnikov, designer of the iconic AK-47 assault rifle, in Mytishchi, Russia. (AFP/ Vasily Maximov)

People in surgical masks against pollution walk in front of a statue of late Chinese leader Mao Zedong during a hazy day at a university in downtown Shanghai. (Reuters/Aly Song)
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People in surgical masks against pollution walk in front of a statue of late Chinese leader Mao Zedong during a hazy day at a university in downtown Shanghai. (Reuters/Aly Song)

One in a group of protesters holding photos of President Viktor Yanukovych labeled "upside-down" -- which in Ukrainian can carry revolutionary connotations -- during a protest at the Interior Ministry in Kyiv over a brutal attack on journalist Tetyana Chornovol. (AFP/Sergei Supinsky)
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One in a group of protesters holding photos of President Viktor Yanukovych labeled "upside-down" -- which in Ukrainian can carry revolutionary connotations -- during a protest at the Interior Ministry in Kyiv over a brutal attack on journalist Tetyana Chornovol. (AFP/Sergei Supinsky)

Workers pull a giant ice cube out of the frozen Songhua River as they extract ice to make sculptures for the upcoming 30th Harbin Ice and Snow Festival in Heilongjiang Province. (Reuters/Sheng Li)
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Workers pull a giant ice cube out of the frozen Songhua River as they extract ice to make sculptures for the upcoming 30th Harbin Ice and Snow Festival in Heilongjiang Province. (Reuters/Sheng Li)

People dressed as Santa Claus perform near a New Year's tree in front of the Georgian parliament building in Tbilisi. (AFP/Vano Shlamov)
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People dressed as Santa Claus perform near a New Year's tree in front of the Georgian parliament building in Tbilisi. (AFP/Vano Shlamov)

A worker sleeps near watermelons arranged like pyramids at a market in Manila. Filipinos believe that displaying 12 different round-shaped fruits -- one representing each month of the year -- at home before New Year's Day welcomes prosperity. (AFP/Noel Celis) 
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A worker sleeps near watermelons arranged like pyramids at a market in Manila. Filipinos believe that displaying 12 different round-shaped fruits -- one representing each month of the year -- at home before New Year's Day welcomes prosperity. (AFP/Noel Celis) 

A woman jumps down onto the beach in the Russian Black Sea resort city of Sochi. The city will host the 2014 Winter Olympics in February. (Reuters/Maksim Shemetov)
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A woman jumps down onto the beach in the Russian Black Sea resort city of Sochi. The city will host the 2014 Winter Olympics in February. (Reuters/Maksim Shemetov)

People dressed up as Father Frost and other mythical seasonal characters march as others perform in central Minsk in celebration of Christmas on December 25. (Reuters/Vasily Fedosenko)
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People dressed up as Father Frost and other mythical seasonal characters march as others perform in central Minsk in celebration of Christmas on December 25. (Reuters/Vasily Fedosenko)

Revellers dressed as Santa Claus enjoy a seasonal celebration near a New Year's tree in front of the Georgian parliament building in Tbilisi on December 25. (Reuters/David Mdzinarishvili)
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Revellers dressed as Santa Claus enjoy a seasonal celebration near a New Year's tree in front of the Georgian parliament building in Tbilisi on December 25. (Reuters/David Mdzinarishvili)

A cadet from the Pakistani Air Force is silhouetted against the morning sun during a ceremony at the mausoleum of Mohammad Ali Jinnah in Karachi. (Reuters/Akhtar Soomro)
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A cadet from the Pakistani Air Force is silhouetted against the morning sun during a ceremony at the mausoleum of Mohammad Ali Jinnah in Karachi. (Reuters/Akhtar Soomro)

A protester outside Ukraine's Interior Ministry holds a picture of journalist Tetyana Chornovil, who was beaten and left in a ditch on December 25, just hours after publishing an article on the assets of top government officials. The demonstrators were calling for the resignation of Interior Minister Vitaliy, Zakarchenko. (Reuters)
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A protester outside Ukraine's Interior Ministry holds a picture of journalist Tetyana Chornovil, who was beaten and left in a ditch on December 25, just hours after publishing an article on the assets of top government officials. The demonstrators were calling for the resignation of Interior Minister Vitaliy, Zakarchenko. (Reuters)

Pope Francis holds a statue of the the baby Jesus at the end of a Christmas Eve mass in Saint Peter's Basilica in the Vatican on December 24. (Reuters/Tony Gentile)
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Pope Francis holds a statue of the the baby Jesus at the end of a Christmas Eve mass in Saint Peter's Basilica in the Vatican on December 24. (Reuters/Tony Gentile)

Two Lebanese women wearing Santa Claus outfits and waving their national flag waterski during a show in the bay of Jounieh, 20 kilometers north of Beirut. (AFP/Patrick Baz)
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Two Lebanese women wearing Santa Claus outfits and waving their national flag waterski during a show in the bay of Jounieh, 20 kilometers north of Beirut. (AFP/Patrick Baz)

Romualdo Redona and his younger sister Angel offer prayers and candles at the grave of their siblings who were killed by supertyphoon Haiyan a month ago and buried in a vacant lot along a main road in Tanuan, in the Philippines' Leyte province. (Reuters/Romeo Ranoco)
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Romualdo Redona and his younger sister Angel offer prayers and candles at the grave of their siblings who were killed by supertyphoon Haiyan a month ago and buried in a vacant lot along a main road in Tanuan, in the Philippines' Leyte province. (Reuters/Romeo Ranoco)

An Afghan man makes a prosthesis at the International Committee of the Red Cross's orthopedic center in Kabul. (EPA/S. Sabawoon)
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An Afghan man makes a prosthesis at the International Committee of the Red Cross's orthopedic center in Kabul. (EPA/S. Sabawoon)

A Ukrainian couple kisses during a "Euromaidan" rally on Independence Square in Kyiv. (EPA/Tatyana Zenkovich)
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A Ukrainian couple kisses during a "Euromaidan" rally on Independence Square in Kyiv. (EPA/Tatyana Zenkovich)

Maria Alyokhina, a member of Russian punk band Pussy Riot, speaks to the media after her release from a penal colony in Nizhny Novgorod on December 23. (Reuters/Sergei Karpukhin)
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Maria Alyokhina, a member of Russian punk band Pussy Riot, speaks to the media after her release from a penal colony in Nizhny Novgorod on December 23. (Reuters/Sergei Karpukhin)

A surfer rides a wave during the Punta Galea Big Wave Challenge in Punta Galea, Spain. (Reuters/Joseba Etxaburu)
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A surfer rides a wave during the Punta Galea Big Wave Challenge in Punta Galea, Spain. (Reuters/Joseba Etxaburu)

A horse-drawn carriage made of ice is displayed with LED illuminations in a garden in Tokyo, Japan. (AFP/Yoshikazu Tsuno)
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A horse-drawn carriage made of ice is displayed with LED illuminations in a garden in Tokyo, Japan. (AFP/Yoshikazu Tsuno)

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