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Here are some of the highlights produced by RFE/RL's vast team of correspondents, multimedia editors, and visual journalists over the past seven days, including content from Gandhara, the RFE/RL website focusing exclusively on developments in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

How A Notorious Mercenary Group Scours Siberian Prisons For Soldiers To Fight In Ukraine

As Moscow’s war on Ukraine lurches into a new, uncertain phase, Russian authorities are increasingly turning to the country’s prisons to replenish depleted units. The Vagner Group is leading the effort, and the result, in some cases, is inmates being coerced into signing up -- or even threatened. By RFE/RL's Siberian.Realities

To Keep Trauma At Bay, Ukrainian Refugee Children Are Given More Time To Play

Months after arriving in the Czech Republic after Russia's invasion of their homeland, children from Ukraine are trying to make the best of their new lives in Prague. A small recreation center in the Czech capital is helping them cope, simply by letting them play. By Tony Wesolowsky and Kurt Vinion

 A Harrowing Journey Under Fire To Evacuate Frontline Ukrainian Towns
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A Harrowing Journey Under Fire To Evacuate Frontline Ukrainian Towns

Ukrainian forces have just liberated the town of Makiyivka in the Luhansk region, but it remains on the front line of fighting with Russian troops. Every building is destroyed and shells fall almost every minute on the civilian population. RFE/RL journalists traveled with volunteer Olha Zaitseva to reach one of the most remote streets of the town and help evacuate the people who stayed there during the occupation. By Maryan Kushnir and Austin Malloy

The Fight In Serbia Against Chinese-Style Surveillance (Part 1)

What began with a hit-and-run on a Belgrade bridge has grown into a deepening political flashpoint as the Serbian government looks to roll out a vast array of Chinese surveillance tools despite growing backlash. This story is the first of a two-part RFE/RL series looking at the growth of Chinese-style surveillance across the Balkan country and its potential repercussions. By Reid Standish

Serbia's Legal Tug-Of-War Over Chinese Surveillance Technology (Part 2)

While Serbian authorities haven't yet used facial-recognition software, an RFE/RL investigation documented a legally murky operation by plainclothes police during nationwide protests in 2021 that showed how officials could abuse cutting-edge Chinese surveillance tools in the future. This is the second installment of a two-part RFE/RL series looking at the growth of Chinese-style surveillance across the Balkan country and its potential repercussions.

'I'll Rip Your Throat Out': Bosnian Journalists Face Threats And Violence
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'I'll Rip Your Throat Out': Bosnian Journalists Face Threats And Violence

When a senior policeman in Bosnia and Herzegovina was caught on camera threatening to rip a journalist's throat out, it focused attention on the intimidation and violence faced by journalists in the country. By Sejla Ibrahimovic, Miran Jelenek, and RFE/RL's Balkan Service

More Than Nepotism? New Position For Uzbek Leader's Daughter In The Spotlight

Saida Mirziyoeva’s moves in and out of government have so far been tied to the fortunes of controversial deputy chief of staff Komil Allamjonov. By Chris Rickleton

As Winter Comes, Residents Remain On The Front Line In Ukraine's Zaporizhzhya Region
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As Winter Comes, Residents Remain On The Front Line In Ukraine Zaporizhzhya Region

Over 2,000 people still live in the frontline city of Hulyaipole in Ukraine's Zaporizhzhya region despite constant Russian shelling and a lack of electricity, gas, and water. RFE/RL's Yevhenia Nazarova traveled with the Ukrainian Army's Mariupol Chaplain Battalion as they delivered essential supplies to the city. By Yevhenia Nazarova and Neil Bowdler

Transdniester Residents Grapple With Conflicting Narratives About Moldova's Energy Crisis

RFE/RL’s Moldovan Service spoke with residents in Moldova’s breakaway region about the unfolding energy crisis and found that while many are struggling, most blame the authorities in Chisinau, rather than Moscow.

Amid Blackouts, Odesa Residents Hunt For Generators To Stay Powered Up
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Amid Blackouts, Odesa Residents Hunt For Generators To Stay Powered Up

Residents of the Ukrainian port city of Odesa struggled with a third straight day of widespread blackouts on November 25 after recent Russian missile strikes crippled power stations and electrical infrastructure across Ukraine. People without any power at home in the Black Sea port city flocked to cafes and libraries to take advantage of electrical generators. By Stuart Greer

Yuri Knorozov: The Maverick Scholar Who Cracked The Maya Code

The story of how one lone scholar from the Soviet Union managed to convince the wider world that he had cracked the code of the Maya without actually setting foot in the Americas is now the stuff of academic legend. By Coilin O'Connor

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