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.
Aleksei Vasilyev is a Yakut photographer and a rising Instagram star with tens of thousands of followers. His most famous project, titled My Dear Yakutia, evokes what he calls the “magic realism” of this part of Russia’s Far North, where people and spirits seem to cohabitate in frozen spaces. Vasilyev shared his images with RFE/RL, along with stories from behind the scenes. By the Siberia Desk of RFE/RL’s Russian Service
As the government of Russian President and former Soviet KGB officer Vladimir Putin was marking the Day of State Security Agency Workers earlier this month, St. Petersburg artist Kirill Gorodetsky went public with his yearslong struggle to find out what happened to his great-grandfather, who disappeared without a trace in September 1941. By Tatyana Voltskaya and Robert Coalson
Under the European Green Deal initiative, the European Union is aiming to reduce its net greenhouse-gas emissions to zero by 2050 and become “climate neutral.” That target poses a big challenge for EU member state Bulgaria, where 60 percent of the country’s power comes from plants that burn mostly coal. The managers of the Bobov Dol thermal plant are working on a survival plan to convert to cleaner energy sources and protect jobs. By RFE/RL’s Bulgarian Service and Neil Bowdler
A new RFE/RL investigation has identified at least $785 million in luxury European and U.S. real estate purchases made by relatives and family members of powerful former Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev. By Mike Eckel and Sarah Alikhan
Siberia’s Evenk region is larger than any European country but it is home to only around 17,000 people. It’s so vast and remote that scientists have spent decades searching and failing to find one of the largest meteorites ever to fall to Earth — the Tunguska meteorite. While this region has a relatively small population, the harmful impact of human activity can still be felt here. By Harutyun Mansuryan and Current Time’s Unknown Russia
Video games can be found on the Internet that simulate military conflicts in the former Yugoslavia. Some of these virtual missions take place in locations where documented atrocities were committed, though war crimes are never mentioned in the games. As extremists increasingly incorporate elements of video games into their propaganda, and even into their attacks, should gaming that attempts to rewrite history be restricted? By RFE/RL’s Balkan Service
In the attic of an old house, artist Ihor Solodovnikov stumbled on a collection of 5,000 photographs taken by his grandfather, Ivan Lytvyn. The images preserve the faces of Ukrainian villagers in the postwar period and the folk traditions that were rarely, if ever, captured by official Soviet photographers. By RFE/RL’s Ukrainian Service
The authorities in the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, have ordered a clampdown on what they say are illegally constructed homes on state-owned land, demolishing over a dozen houses in a small settlement on the outskirts of the capital. Nugzar Aluashvili and his six children live in the settlement and watched as the bulldozers moved in. Their plight caught the attention of their fellow Georgians on social media. By RFE/RL’s Georgian Service and Neil Bowdler
The Circum-Baikal Railway was a feat of engineering when it was built during the reign of Russia’s Tsar Nicholas II. Today, the route beside the world’s deepest lake is used more for tourism than for transport, but it still inspires visitors with its stunning views. By Harutyun Mansuryan and Current Time’s Unknown Russia
As part of an occasional series on how the end-of-year holidays are observed in our broadcast region, we talked to RFE/RL’s Bulgarian Service about how Christmas is celebrated in her country. Like many of their Central and Eastern European neighbors, the evening before Christmas is an event that is often just as important to Bulgarians as the day itself. By Coilin O’Connor and Teodora Barzakova
This post was originally published on Radio Free.