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.
A flurry of leaks and dubious claims by Minsk, often amplified by Russia, have highlighted the interplay between narratives peddled by the two allied governments as Belarusian strongman Alyaksandr Lukashenka fights for his political survival. By Matthew Luxmoore
French social media influencers were offered money to post content criticizing Western COVID vaccines such as Pfizer's. The Russian company behind the efforts has links to a network of murky entities -- and a Moscow-based businesswoman active in pro-Kremlin political circles. By Mark Krutov, Sergey Dobrynin, Mike Eckel, and Carl Schreck
The alleged drugging and dismemberment of a 47-year-old filmmaker by his parents appalled the country. Then they reportedly confessed to also killing a daughter and son-in-law. By RFE/RL's Radio Farda
A growing photo archive run by an economist, a priest, and a software developer documents the turbulent and fascinating 20th century in Romania. By Amos Chapple and Eugen Tomiuc
Iran's powerful Guardians Council has barred prominent moderate politicians from running in the June 18 presidential election in a move that analysts say will place hard-line cleric Ebrahim Raisi as the dominant candidate in the vote. By Golnaz Esfandiari
Russian oil companies have long claimed to recycle toxic drilling waste in line with environmental laws. But a new investigation by RFE/RL’s Russian Service reveals the systematic illegal disposal of this waste -- and how regulations are routinely flouted. By Sergei Khazov-Cassia
Interest in Georgia’s Soviet-era architecture is surging, even as some of the most spectacular landmarks in the capital, Tbilisi, are literally disappearing overnight. By Amos Chapple and RFE/RL's Georgian Service
Why do protesters put their lives in danger and use hunger strikes as a form of protest? What happens to the human body when it doesn't have enough nutrients for such a long period of time? And what sparked the first major hunger strike believed to have been held in Russia? By Kristyna Foltynova
After five years of conflict in eastern Ukraine, the port of Mariupol is struggling to survive. With the loss of coal exports and Russia choking access to the Sea of Azov, the port's maritime traffic has been cut in half. But Mariupol hopes Chinese investment can revive its sinking fortunes. By Matthew Luxmoore
This Murmansk fisherman has snagged a vast social-media following by photographing fearsome creatures of the deep. By Amos Chapple
The city of Krasnoyarsk is considered to have some of the most polluted air, not just in Russia, but on Earth. For several weeks each year, the city announces an environmental alert they call "Black Sky." By Harutyun Mansuryan, Aleksei Aleksandrov, and Current Time
In Russian Action Film, Bullets, Blood, Blasts, Bad Guys -- And A Whitewash Of Mercenary Atrocities?
The private Russian military company Vagner has been credibly accused of torture and other crimes in Syria and the Central African Republic. A new action flick that debuted on Russian TV puts a fictionalized gloss on the company's activities. Reportedly, it was financed by Vagner's parent company. By Mike Eckel