The Daily Vertical: Stealing Putin's Show
One undaunted journalist, Ekaterina Vinokurova, asked the bravest question of the day.
Sex Workers in Macedonia Join March Against Violence
Sex workers and activists supporting them marched through Skopje’s city center to mark the International Day to End Violence against Sex Workers on December 17.
Searching For Muslim Brides In Kyrgyzstan
Although Kyrgyzstan’s constitution stipulates a secular state, a large majority of the population calls itself Muslim, and marriage agencies offer help to suitors to find observant Muslim wives.
Blatter for the Nobel Prize?
RFE/RL surveys the most striking remarks made by Russian President Vladimir Putin yesterday during his annual press conference.
Putin Looked ‘Tired and a Bit Oldish’
Political observers who watched the performance in Moscow told RFE/RL that "Putin looked less organized, and mumbled in response to some questions.” (In Russian)
Ukraine Announces Moratorium On $3 Billion To Russia
Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk told a meeting of the cabinet of ministers that Ukraine will not make Eurobond payments to Russia until there is a restructuring agreement or a court decision. Russia and the IMF consider the amount owed to be sovereign debt. (In Ukrainian)
Ukraine Creates First Special Operations Battalion
Deputy Chief of Military Cooperation and Peacekeeping Andriy Ordynovych told RFE/RL that a Special Operations Command has been approved and an agreement on cooperation with NATO’s Special Forces has been reached. (In Ukrainian)
Spanish Prosecutors Outline Russia’s Captive State
The 400-page Spanish report details the findings of an investigation into the activities of Gennady Petrov, who is believed to be the head of the Tambov organized-crime group and has ties to Putin stretching back to their days in St. Petersburg.
Ukraine Reportedly Gets Nod For Visa-Free Regime
The Chair of Ukraine’s Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs reported on social media that the EU Commission has recommended that Ukraine be accepted for visa-free short-term travel to the Schengen zone. (In Ukrainian)
Moscow Court Releases Jailed Pro-Ukraine Stunt Performer
Vladimir Podrezov, who painted a Ukrainian-styled star on the top of a Moscow skyscraper, was given, in effect, a 34-month suspended sentence instead of 27 months in prison.
Double Dangers For Russian-Speaking Patriots In Ukraine
A dark meme has recently surfaced on the web warning, “First, as you’re a Russian speaker, someone may come to “liberate” you, but when they find out you're a patriot of Ukraine, they’ll shoot you.” (In Ukrainian)
Crisis Forcing Russians To Save Less, Spend Less On Food
A Levada Center poll finds that 58 percent of Russians are spending less on food and nine percent are digging into their savings to meet daily needs. Twenty-two percent of respondents believe the crisis will last no less than 2 years. (Current Time TV)
Georgian Parliamentarians Questioned In ‘Pardons for Bribes’ Investigation
Two members of the parliamentary faction of Georgia’s ruling Georgian Dream coalition, whose popularity is at an all-time low, were summoned to the chief prosecutor's office on December 14 for questioning in connection with allegations of influence peddling.