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Photos Of The Week #50

Some of the most compelling photographs from RFE/RL's coverage area and beyond for the 50th week of 2017. For more photo galleries, see our Picture This archive.

Russia's Soyuz MS-07 spacecraft, carrying members of the International Space Station (ISS) expedition, blasts off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome on December 17. (AFP)
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Russia's Soyuz MS-07 spacecraft, carrying members of the International Space Station (ISS) expedition, blasts off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome on December 17. (AFP)

A picture taken on December 15 shows wheelchair-bound Palestinian demonstrator Ibrahim Abu Thurayeh waving a Palestinian flag amid smoke from flaming tires during a protest along the Gaza-Israel border against the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. (AFP)
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A picture taken on December 15 shows wheelchair-bound Palestinian demonstrator Ibrahim Abu Thurayeh waving a Palestinian flag amid smoke from flaming tires during a protest along the Gaza-Israel border against the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. (AFP)

Youths wait to perform during a celebration of St. Lucia's Day at the Swedish Evangelical and Lutheran Church of St. Katarina in St. Petersburg, Russia. (Reuters/Anton Vaganov)
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Youths wait to perform during a celebration of St. Lucia's Day at the Swedish Evangelical and Lutheran Church of St. Katarina in St. Petersburg, Russia. (Reuters/Anton Vaganov)

A Syrian man awaits treatment at a makeshift hospital in Zamalka, near Syria's capital, Damascus, following reported shelling. (AFP/Ammar Suleiman)
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A Syrian man awaits treatment at a makeshift hospital in Zamalka, near Syria's capital, Damascus, following reported shelling. (AFP/Ammar Suleiman)

Greek Catholic Metropolitan Archbishop Fulop Kocsis stretches on the floor of his office in Debrecen, some 220 kilometers northeast of Budapest. (epa-EFE/Attila Balazs)
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Greek Catholic Metropolitan Archbishop Fulop Kocsis stretches on the floor of his office in Debrecen, some 220 kilometers northeast of Budapest. (epa-EFE/Attila Balazs)

Vehicles pass through heavy fog and air pollution covering the Skopje Valley outside Skopje, Macedonia. Skopje is considered one of the most polluted cities in the world. (epa-EFE/Georgi Licovski)
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Vehicles pass through heavy fog and air pollution covering the Skopje Valley outside Skopje, Macedonia. Skopje is considered one of the most polluted cities in the world. (epa-EFE/Georgi Licovski)

Police arrest Partizan Belgrade hooligans after clashes between two groups of Partizan Belgrade supporters during the Serbian Superleague derby football match between Partizan Belgrade and Crvena Zvezda (Red Star) in Belgrade. (AFP/Pedja Milosavljevic)
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Police arrest Partizan Belgrade hooligans after clashes between two groups of Partizan Belgrade supporters during the Serbian Superleague derby football match between Partizan Belgrade and Crvena Zvezda (Red Star) in Belgrade. (AFP/Pedja Milosavljevic)

A fisherman walks on the frozen Volga River in the Ivanovo region of Russia. (TASS)
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A fisherman walks on the frozen Volga River in the Ivanovo region of Russia. (TASS)

The Soyuz MS-07 spacecraft stands on the launch pad at the Russia-leased Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. A launch to the International Space Station with NASA astronaut Scott Tingle, Roscosmos cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, and Norishige Kanai of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency is scheduled for December 17. (AFP/Maxim Shipenkov)
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The Soyuz MS-07 spacecraft stands on the launch pad at the Russia-leased Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. A launch to the International Space Station with NASA astronaut Scott Tingle, Roscosmos cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, and Norishige Kanai of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency is scheduled for December 17. (AFP/Maxim Shipenkov)

A worker hangs dried fish onto poles at a processing facility on the outskirts of Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China. (Reuters/Stringer)
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A worker hangs dried fish onto poles at a processing facility on the outskirts of Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China. (Reuters/Stringer)

A man dressed as a panda rests between posing for pictures with tourists in central Kyiv. (Reuters/Gleb Garanich)
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A man dressed as a panda rests between posing for pictures with tourists in central Kyiv. (Reuters/Gleb Garanich)

NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik is helped out of the Soyuz MS-05 spacecraft just minutes after it landed in a remote area near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan, on December 14. Bresnik, Russian cosmonaut Sergei Ryazansky, and Paolo Nespoli of the European Space Agency spent 139 days in space. (epa-EFE/Bill Ingalls/ NASA handout)
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NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik is helped out of the Soyuz MS-05 spacecraft just minutes after it landed in a remote area near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan, on December 14. Bresnik, Russian cosmonaut Sergei Ryazansky, and Paolo Nespoli of the European Space Agency spent 139 days in space. (epa-EFE/Bill Ingalls/ NASA handout)

A meteor streaks across the sky behind a Catholic church during the annual Geminid meteor shower in the village of Krevo, some 100 kilometers northwest of Minsk. (AFP/Sergei Gapon)
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A meteor streaks across the sky behind a Catholic church during the annual Geminid meteor shower in the village of Krevo, some 100 kilometers northwest of Minsk. (AFP/Sergei Gapon)

A man walks in front of a Soyuz rocket installed as a monument in Baikonur city, near the Russia- leased Kazakh Baikonur Cosmodrome. (AFP/Kirill Kudryavtsev)
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A man walks in front of a Soyuz rocket installed as a monument in Baikonur city, near the Russia- leased Kazakh Baikonur Cosmodrome. (AFP/Kirill Kudryavtsev)

A Russian cadet prepares before the International Kremlin Cadet Ball in Moscow. More than 1,500 students from all Russian cadet schools attend the Cadet Ball. (epa-EFE/Yuri Kochetkov)
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A Russian cadet prepares before the International Kremlin Cadet Ball in Moscow. More than 1,500 students from all Russian cadet schools attend the Cadet Ball. (epa-EFE/Yuri Kochetkov)

A man watches the Thomas Fire in the hills above Carpinteria, California, on December 11. The Thomas Fire in California's Ventura and Santa Barbara counties has consumed more than 93,000 hectares over the past week, making it the fifth-largest fire in the state's history. (AFP/Robyn Beck)
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A man watches the Thomas Fire in the hills above Carpinteria, California, on December 11. The Thomas Fire in California's Ventura and Santa Barbara counties has consumed more than 93,000 hectares over the past week, making it the fifth-largest fire in the state's history. (AFP/Robyn Beck)

A Tupolev Tu-22M3 bomber lands at the Olenya air base near the town of Olenegorsk on December 11. Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the start of a partial withdrawal of Russian forces two years after Moscow launched a campaign of air strikes in support of the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and stepped up its military involvement on the ground. (TASS/Lev Fedoseyev) 
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A Tupolev Tu-22M3 bomber lands at the Olenya air base near the town of Olenegorsk on December 11. Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the start of a partial withdrawal of Russian forces two years after Moscow launched a campaign of air strikes in support of the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and stepped up its military involvement on the ground. (TASS/Lev Fedoseyev) 

An Afghan vendor prepares kebab outside a restaurant in Mazar-e Sharif. (AFP/Farshad Usyan)
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An Afghan vendor prepares kebab outside a restaurant in Mazar-e Sharif. (AFP/Farshad Usyan)

A man runs as a giant wave crashes against the sea defenses during high tide in San Sebastian, Spain. (AP/Alvaro Barrientos)
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A man runs as a giant wave crashes against the sea defenses during high tide in San Sebastian, Spain. (AP/Alvaro Barrientos)

Jewish people dance during Hanukkah celebrations in central Moscow on December 12.  (AFP/Vasily Maximov)
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Jewish people dance during Hanukkah celebrations in central Moscow on December 12.  (AFP/Vasily Maximov)

A winter swimmer dives into the icy water of the Songhua River in Songyuan, Jilin Province, China. (Reuters/Stringer)
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A winter swimmer dives into the icy water of the Songhua River in Songyuan, Jilin Province, China. (Reuters/Stringer)

A Palestinian man looks out of his apartment, which was damaged in an Israeli air strike on a nearby militant target in the northern Gaza Strip. (Reuters/Mohammed Salem)
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A Palestinian man looks out of his apartment, which was damaged in an Israeli air strike on a nearby militant target in the northern Gaza Strip. (Reuters/Mohammed Salem)

People shout while holding signs that read "All For Justice" outside the government headquarters in Bucharest. More than 10,000 people on December 10 participated in another round of protests against Romanian legislation that critics say would make it harder to punish high-level corruption. (AP/Vadim Ghirda)
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People shout while holding signs that read "All For Justice" outside the government headquarters in Bucharest. More than 10,000 people on December 10 participated in another round of protests against Romanian legislation that critics say would make it harder to punish high-level corruption. (AP/Vadim Ghirda)

Israeli forces fire gas canisters at Palestinian protesters during a protest in the West Bank city of Bethlehem. (Reuters/Goran Tomasevic)
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Israeli forces fire gas canisters at Palestinian protesters during a protest in the West Bank city of Bethlehem. (Reuters/Goran Tomasevic)

A woman takes pictures of policemen as they keep an eye on protesters attending a rally in support of arrested former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili outside a detention center in Kyiv. (AFP/Genya Savilov)
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A woman takes pictures of policemen as they keep an eye on protesters attending a rally in support of arrested former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili outside a detention center in Kyiv. (AFP/Genya Savilov)

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