Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (right) meets his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai on Aug. 18 during a summit near Russia's Black Sea resort of Sochi. Medvedev hosted the leaders of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Tajikistan for talks on joint efforts to stabilize the region. Dmitry Astakhov/AP hide caption

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Vegetable seller Olesya Vladymyrovna, 55, holds a pumpkin at a market in Lviv, Ukraine. For centuries in the Eastern European nation, a pumpkin meant: "No, I will not marry you." David Greene/NPR hide caption

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Russian councilman Jean Gregoire Sagbo speaks in the administration office in Novozavidovo, a village 60 miles north of Moscow, on July 20. As the first black man elected to public office in Russian history, he has been nicknamed Russia’s Obama, something he’s not too pleased about. Sergey Ponomarev/AP hide caption

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Leonid Burmistrov, a researcher at the Vavilov Institute of Plant Industry, stands amid orange "sorbus" or "mountain ash." This fruit and others could be destroyed if the Russian government sells the land in the village of Pavlovsk. David Greene/NPR hide caption

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Visitors walk through a room that contains works by early Italian painters at the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. Sean Gallup/Getty Images hide caption

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