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.
The Taliban's takeover has thrown Afghanistan's economy into chaos. Since the militant group's capture of Kabul on August 15, many Afghans are grappling with soaring food prices and cash shortages. By Frud Bezhan and RFE/RL's Radio Azadi
Former Afghan legislator Shukria Barakzai describes the harrowing experience of how she escaped from Kabul after the capital fell to the Taliban. Wearing three veils, she disguised herself to slip past the Taliban militants who were hunting for her. After spending several days in hiding, she was evacuated to Great Britain. Barakzai says that being a refugee causes her "great pain" and she's now trying to help other female politicians and activists find ways out of Afghanistan. By RFE/RL's Radio Azadi and Stuart Greer
The CSTO is scrambling to respond to the regional security void left by the sudden U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. But while the loose-knit, Russian-led defense grouping is busy holding military exercises and high-level meetings, its strength as an alliance is in doubt. By Michael Scollon
A major mining operation near the Serbian city of Bor, majority-owned by a Chinese company, is slowly expanding into the territory of a nearby village. Residents there say industrial pollution has already made their crops unusable as multiple complaints have forced the company to temporarily halt work. Some locals have left voluntarily, while others are waiting for officials to come through on promises to help them relocate. By RFE/RL's Balkan Service
Bucharest is decrying an influx of illegal garbage shipments after some Asian countries stopped accepting trash from the West. By Marian Pavalasc
Generations of children have grown up in Kyrgyzstan without parents who leave the country to work, mostly in Russia. Aigerim is 9 years old and lives with her grandmother. She dreams of joining her mom, who went to Moscow two years ago. By Ray Furlong and Current Time
The incident is the latest in a series -- including the backlash over a lesbian speaker at a literary festival and a health-food chain's progressive ad campaign -- that LGBT activists say points to rising homophobia in Russia, and official indifference. By Tony Wesolowsky
Veranika Tsapkala and her family have been on a forced odyssey across Europe since fleeing Belarus after the country's disputed election last year extended the decades-long rule of Alyaksandr Lukashenka. By Anna Sous
A dual Afghan-Ukrainian citizen, who was an activist and worked at the Afghan Education Ministry in Kabul, describes how he managed to get out of Afghanistan after being hunted by Taliban fighters who he said wanted to "punish" or kill him. Speaking to RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service on August 26 after being evacuated to Kyiv, the man used the pseudonym "Tolik," and concealed his identity for security reasons. By RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service
Russia has largely purged the field of opposition candidates ahead of important parliamentary elections in September. But some are doggedly continuing to wage campaigns to unseat the unpopular ruling party -- even as they face criminal charges, languish in jail, or lament staff shortages. By RFE/RL