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The Week’s Best: Stories You May Have Missed

by June 26, 2020 General

We know that isn’t the only website you read, and it’s possible that you may have missed some of our most interesting journalism from the past 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.

Why Is A Czech Firm Selling Furniture In Separatist-Controlled Donetsk?

Questions have arisen over whether a Czech firm may have violated EU sanctions after two former Czech mercenaries who fought on the side of Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine filmed a video at the firm’s store in the separatist-controlled city of Donetsk.
By Yaroslav Krechko, Serhiy Stetsenko, Ivanna Trutnenko, and Tony Wesolowsky

Voting Skulduggery? Graveyard Protest Highlights COVID-19 Fears Ahead Of Russian Balloting

Activists dressed as corpses gathered at a St. Petersburg cemetery in a bizarre protest against Russia’s nationwide vote on changing the constitution. They’re not the only ones arguing that voting could be dangerous in a country with the third-highest COVID-19 caseload in the world. Hundreds of local voting officials have signed an open letter refusing to work at polling stations. By Ray Furlong

Kids With No Name: Kazakh Lawyer Describes Horrific Plight Of Children With Special Needs

Hundreds of children with mental disabilities in Kazakhstan reside in specialized orphanages where they have limited contact with the outside world. One Kazakh activist has found that many of the children don’t receive the treatment they need and are often heavily medicated with psychotropic drugs. By Farangis Najibullah and Ayan Kalmurat

Higher Education: Pakistani Student Scales Mountains For Internet Signal

A 22-year-old political-science student from Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province has resorted to climbing nearby peaks each day to get an Internet connection and attend online classes. Saifullah Abbas Afridi usually studies in Peshawar, but universities and colleges were closed to stem the spread of the coronavirus. By RFE/RL’s Radio Mashaal

Victims Recall Harassment By Fugitive Iranian Judge Found Dead In Romania

Some of the victims of Gholamreza Mansuri’s brand of justice talk about a man sought by Tehran for alleged corruption and by rights groups for his offenses against Iranians. By Golnaz Esfandiari

Putin’s Constitutional Flip-Flop That Could Extend His Rule Until 2036

Russians are going to the polls to vote on constitutional changes that would allow President Vladimir Putin to stay in office for two more terms. Putin supports the amendment, but over his many years in power, he’s repeatedly denied that he would change the constitution to extend his rule. Here’s a look back at his previous statements that are at odds with what he is saying now. By Ray Furlong and Current Time

Sasha 3%? Belarusians Poke Fun At President’s Slipping Support

A new meme poking fun at Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s alleged single-digit public support underscores the problems the Belarusian strongman faces ahead of the country’s presidential election in August. By Tony Wesolowsky

Marshal Konev Makes Triumphant Return To Prague

After the controversial removal of a statue of Soviet Marshal Ivan Konev in Prague in April, the wartime Red Army commander has returned to Prague — in forceBy RFE/RL

The Raftsmen Of Siberia Move Timber The Old-Fashioned Way

Little has changed over the past century for timber raftsmen in Russia’s Krasnoyarsk region, who still rely on the same working methods that their grandfathers used. By Harutyun Mansuryan, Yekaterina Ponomaryova, Ilya Odnoshevin, and Current Time



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