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.
President Aleksandar Vucic has pledged to take down a notorious criminal group with ties to hooligan fans of Belgrade’s storied Partizan soccer team. But a month after a police sweep, troubling signs have emerged. By Andy Heil, Ljudmila Cvetkovic, and Nevena Bogdanovic
A former Chechen police officer has told Russia’s Novaya gazeta newspaper that detainees were tortured and murdered by the police unit he was serving with at its base in Grozny in 2017. Previous reports of the extrajudicial killings were based on anonymous sources, but now a whistle-blower has revealed his identity. The man, named as Suleiman Gezmakhmayev, has been evacuated from Chechnya along with his relatives. By Ray Furlong and Current Time
A new music video by popular Los Angeles-based Iranian singer Sasy Mankan features an adult film star and is causing controversy in the Islamic republic, where authorities have thus far arrested two in connection with the video and warned the singer of legal action. By RFE/RL’s Radio Farda
Preparations in Belarus for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest have been thrown into chaos by the country’s political unrest. First, Belarusian authorities pulled the plug on a romantic duet that was supposed to represent the country after they voiced support for peaceful opposition protests. Then, Eurovision itself kicked out the state broadcaster’s new choice of a group that appeared to support brutal police violence against the demonstrators. By Ray Furlong and Current Time
Police raided a conference of independent lawmakers in Moscow last weekend, detaining nearly 200 people. With elections coming and the ruling United Russia party polling at record lows, the unprecedented move is seen as a signal the Kremlin has no intention of seeing its monopoly on power weakened. By Yelena Vladykina, Gleb Yarovoi, and Robert Coalson
Baibolat Kunbolatuly, an ethnic Kazakh from Xinjiang, has been staging protests in front of the Chinese Embassy in Kazakhstan, demanding answers over the fate of his younger brother, who was arrested in China. By RFE/RL’s Kazakh Service
In an ethnic Tatar village in Russia’s Omsk region, drinking water comes from the ice of a local lake, which is cut in winter, carried, and stored for year-round use. It’s a good business for those who do the hard work of collecting the ice, and locals claim the clean water contributes to their longevity. By Harutyun Mansuryan, Yekaterina Ponomaryova, Ilya Odnoshevin, and Current Time
Amid the chaos in Eastern Europe in the wake of World War I, Poland and Soviet Russia fought an undeclared war that ended with the signing of the Treaty of Riga on March 18, 1921. The settlement was largely a disaster for Ukrainians, Lithuanians, Belarusians, and Poles — and still has echoes today. By Tony Wesolowsky
Since being outlawed by Russia as “extremist” in 2017, more than 50 Jehovah’s Witnesses have been imprisoned in Russia and the occupied Ukrainian region of Crimea for up to 7 1/2 years. Here’s what you need to know about the challenges facing the denomination, which has about 8 million followers worldwide. By Dan Wisniewski and Kristyna Foltynova
Sixty years ago, a tsunami of mud officially killed 145 people in Kyiv. But one historian believes many more were buried alive. By Dmytro Dzhulay
RFERL | Radio Free (2021-03-19T09:08:02+00:00) The Week's Best: 10 RFE/RL Stories You Need To Read (Or Watch). Retrieved from https://www.radiofree.org/2021/03/19/the-weeks-best-10-rfe-rl-stories-you-need-to-read-or-watch-18/
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