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The Rundown -- March 7

Turkey -- The US Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Truxtun sets sail in the Dardanelles straits, on its way to the Black Sea, March 7, 2014
RFE/RL in the Media

# CS Monitor mentions RFE/RL in its piece on Kremlin's TV channel Russia Today.
# Constitution Daily (blog) quotes the RFE/RL Ron Synovitz's story titled “The Budapest Memorandum and Its Relevance to Crimea.”

Afghanistan / Pakistan

# Afghan forces struggle to combat explosives threat Washington Post
# Afghan army, police struggle to combat IED threat as U.S. forces prepare to leave Washington Post
# NATO airstrike kills 5 Afghan soldiers Washington Post
# 7-Point Human Rights Agenda for Afghan Presidential Candidates Amnesty International
# The Bargain from the Bazaar: A Family’s Day of Reckoning in Lahore Foreign Policy


# Iran launches insurance plan to tackle high healthcare costs Financial Times
# Iran's Secret Weapons Wall Street Journal
# Iran’s Structural Constraints Limit Rouhani’s Domestic Agenda World Politics Review


# Bombings, clashes in Iraq kill at least 42 AP
# Row as Iraq minister's son 'forces' flight turnaround BBC

Eastern Europe

# Eastern Promises Foreign Policy
# Ukraine’s Tiny, Impoverished Neighbor Moldova Also Worries About Moscow's Incursions
# Grybauskaitė: Russia redrawing borders, Moldova and Baltics could be next after Ukraine


# Azeri Opposition Party Says Government Behind HQ Blast IWPR
# Mysterious explosions and discretionary arrests: A day in the life of Azerbaijan’s opposition Amnesty International
# Georgia: Does Ukraine Crisis Improve Euro-Atlantic Integration Odds? Eurasia View
# MIKHEIL SAAKASHVILI When Putin invaded my country Washington Post

Central Asia

# Kashagan fails to live up to promise (Kazakhstan) Financial Times
# Kyrgyzstan Sees Homophobic Backlash after Report on Gay Abuse Eurasia View
# ANALYSIS - Will Kazakhstan be Next in Putin’s Reintegration Project? Carnegie Endowment 3/6/14
# ANALYSIS - Asia Shares a WWII Hangover with Ukraine Asia Sentinel 3/6/14


# Obama bets on Putin’s unlikely reversal on Ukraine Washington Post
# Putin ally accuses U.S. of trying to ‘destroy’ Russia Financial Times
# Sochi Paralympics: Russia ready for biggest ever Winter Games BBC
# Rouble trouble: Why fear of recession might be driving Putin's policies BBC
# Russia wants IMF to move ahead on reforms without U.S. Reuters
# 10 Lies? Russians Fire Back New York Times
# Russia Experts See Thinning Ranks’ Effect on U.S. Policy New York Times
# Violent attack on former Pussy Riot members must not be tolerated Amnesty International
# MICHAEL GERSON As the U.S. retreats, what will fill the vacuum? Washington Post
# PHILIP STEPHENS Reset the reset – visa bans will not deter Putin Financial Times
# FRED HIATT Will the West let Putin off the hook? Financial Times
# JOHN BOEHNER Counter Putin by Liberating U.S. Natural Gas Wall Street Journal
# FACTBOX - EU options to apply pressure on Russia over Ukraine Reuters
# ANALYSIS - U.S. Options Are Limited for Sanctions on Russia Stratfor
# MAP - Territorial changes in Russia over the centuries RIA Novosti


# Crimea Approves a Secession Vote as Tensions Rise New York Times
# Obama bets on Putin’s unlikely reversal on Ukraine Washington Post
# Netherlands Flags Possible Ukraine Asset Withdrawal Wall Street Journal
# Ukraine's revolution and the far right BBC
# Crimean authorities take two more broadcasters off air CPJ
# ROGER COHEN Ukraine Fights for Its Truth New York Times
# ANALYSIS - The Ukraine blame-game Economist
# ANALYSIS - Ukraine’s Unintended Consequences Project Syndicate
# ANALYSIS - U.S. Options Are Limited for Sanctions on Russia Stratfor
# ANALYSIS - China’s Soft “Nyet” to Russia’s Ukraine Intervention CFR
# ANALYSIS - Ukraine’s Lessons for Asia CFR
# ANALYSIS & MAPS - Crimea: A region divided Financial Times
# FACTBOX - What is Crimea and why does it matter? Reuters
# MAPS - Ukrainian crisis: Situation maps Washington Post
# POLL - Democracy Important to Most Ukrainians Gallup

Of Interest

# RANKING - World's Top 100 universities 2014 Times Higher Education
# The World's Most Reputable Universities In 2014 Forbes 3/6/14