Shirin Jaafari covers the Middle East for The World. She has reported from Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.
Before joining The World, Shirin worked in Washington DC. She was a finalist for the 2009 Livingston Awards for Young Journalists.
You can find her on Twitter at @Shirinj
In recent months, reports have emerged that at least two men, one from Zambia and another from Tanzania, were killed while fighting for the Wagner group in Ukraine. Wagner reportedly recruited the men from Russian prisons, promising them amnesty.
A forest in the city of Izium in northeast Ukraine is home to one of the largest mass graves discovered since the Russian invasion.
It’s been two months since Ukrainian forces took back this city, but life is far from back to normal. The World visited Izium earlier this month and saw firsthand Russia’s trail of devastation, mines and one of the biggest mass graves discovered since the war began.
Victoria Obidina was among a group of women who were taken as prisoners by the Russian military from the besieged Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol in May. Obidina was held captive for six months before being released last month as part of a prisoner exchange between Russia and Ukraine.
On Oct. 10, Russia carried out a series of attacks on the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv. One of the rockets landed on a children’s playground at the popular Shevchenko Park. No one was killed at the park but the attack shocked parents and caregivers.
Recent Russian attacks have damaged power grids and water systems in the capital, Kyiv, but families are returning home, and crews of electrical maintenance workers are being charged with bringing power back to the city.
Ukraine's president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, said this week that Russia has been deploying Iranian-made drones in his country, targeting civilian areas. The drones are relatively small and can fly at low altitude, evading Ukrainian radars, Zelenskiy said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin promoted Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov to army general this month. Kadyrov is a long-time ally of Putin and is known for his inflammatory remarks and abysmal human rights record. He has also described Russia's invasion of Ukraine as a “holy war.”
Robert Malley, the US special envoy for Iran, joined The World's host Marco Werman from Washington to discuss how the Biden administration views the current protests and what this could all mean for efforts to secure a nuclear deal with Iran.
Banks in Lebanon have partially reopened this week after the government had ordered them to be shut down. The closures were prompted by a spate of bank heists conducted by people whose savings have been stuck in banking system.
This past week, girls in the province of Paktia in eastern Afghanistan went to the streets to protest. The Taliban had reopened their schools but ordered them shut again. Girls’ education in Afghanistan has become a sensitive topic since the Taliban came to power last year. They have closed down nearly all secondary schools for girls in the country.