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.
Asel Qurmanbaeva was the beneficiary of a $30 million payment from an offshore company, according to evidence presented in the Pandora Papers published by an international team of investigative journalists. For years, there have been reports she was in a secret long-term relationship with former Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev. So what do we know about her? By Manas Kaiyrtayuly, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service, Ray Furlong, and Sanat Nurbek
A young Iranian woman has died from severe burns in Iran's Kurdistan region amid accusations by women's rights activists that she was set on fire by her father in an alleged case of a so-called "honor killing." By Golnaz Esfandiari
Their COVID Certificates Were Fake But Now They Want To Get Vaccinated: Forgery And Regret In Romania And Bulgaria
With both Romania and neighboring Bulgaria facing a spike in coronavirus cases, the challenge of treating the influx of newly sick patients is being complicated by the prevalence of fake vaccine certificates. Doctors are pleading with people to own up. By Alison Mutler
As Serbia creeps up on 1 million confirmed cases and 8,500 deaths, officially, trust remains a crucial factor in the seemingly stalled vaccination drive to control COVID-19. By Una Cilic, Andy Heil, Amela Bajrovic, and Svetlana Bozic Kraincanic
Bosnia-Herzegovina has recorded more COVID-19 deaths per capita than any other country in Europe. The highly infectious Delta variant has led to a new spike in cases, with most of the patients in serious condition unvaccinated. RFE/RL visited the COVID ward of the Dr. Abdulah Nakas General Hospital in Sarajevo, where all 90 beds are full and 20 people are currently in intensive care and breathing with the help of ventilators. By RFE/RL's Balkan Service and Neil Bowdler
In a rare ruling, an Iranian man who blinded his neighbor during a fight in 2018 has been sentenced to be blinded based on the Islamic eye-for-an-eye retribution law. By Golnaz Esfandiari
Georgia has become one of the perhaps unlikely new homes for hundreds of Russian political activists fleeing Kremlin pressure. But some of them wonder whether growing Russian influence on its peripheries will pose a new kind of threat. By Matthew Luxmoore
Communities on the Hour al-Azim marshes in Iran's Khuzestan Province say they're facing catastrophe. Marshes are drying up and piped-in drinking water is severely rationed by the authorities. Local residents say livestock are dying and farms are being abandoned. The water crisis sparked protests in the province in July 2020, which triggered demonstrations against the government nationwide. By RFE/RL's Radio Farda and Neil Bowdler
Sinisa Sevo opened a hostel in northern Serbia to migrants last year. Shortly thereafter, a far-right group included his photo and other data on posters plastered across the city of Sombor, labeling him a traitor, and triggering death threats. By Dusan Komarcevic
After the discovery of a hideout dating from the Nazi occupation of Lviv, RFE/RL joined one of the urban explorers who are slowly uncovering the mysteries of Lviv's subterranean Poltva River. By Halyna Tereshchuk