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Afghanistan's Elections, Brussels Takeaway, and Battleground Ukraine

Al-Iraqiya TV coverage of slain RFE/RL Baghdad Bureau chief Mohammas al-Shammari, 22Mar2014
Al-Iraqiya TV coverage of slain RFE/RL Baghdad Bureau chief Mohammas al-Shammari, 22Mar2014
RFE/RL's Weekly Rundown, a concise look at our top stories and events this week, and what's coming up next:

# After Karzai: Afghanistan Elections 2014 - Written primarily by correspondent Frud Bezhan in Kabul, this blog provides extensive coverage of the campaign, the election, and the repercussions of Afghanistan's April 5 presidential vote.

# Brussels Takeaway: Correspondent Rikard Jozwiak analyzes the clues in the European Commission's Eastern Partnership progress report, including where some of the 15.4 billion euros the EU has set aside for the program will be spent over the next seven years in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine.

# Crimean Debrief: Russian Service journalist Andrei Sharogradsky spent a week in Crimea covering the story as Russian forces took control of the Ukrainian territory, speaking with a cross-section of people living on the peninsula. And from correspondent Robert Coalson, the peninsula's Crimean Tatar minority faces a harsh new de facto legal environment, sparking fears that activists and ordinary Muslims could suddenly be branded "extremists."

# Battleground Ukraine: Experts dissect U.S. President Barack Obama's speech, Ukrainian troops in Crimea face a dilemma, an interview with ex-diplomat John Shattuck about the West's response to the crisis, the impact on Russia's arms industry from both Ukraine and the United States, and #UkraineUnspun's fact-checks Russia's new "Traitors" list and refugees fleeing Ukraine's "revolutionary chaos."

# IN MEMORIAM: On March 22, Dr. Mohammed Bdaiwi Obaid al-Shammari, Baghdad bureau chief of RFE/RL's Iraq Service, Radio Free Iraq (RFI), was shot and killed at a security checkpoint while entering the Iraqi presidential compound on his way to work. Dozens of newspapers refused to publish the next day, and the semi-official Al-Iraqiya television channel added a black ribbon to its video feed as acts of solidarity and outrage at the slaying of the influential journalist. The shooter in the case has been arrested, and the police investigation into the killing continues.


# RFE/RL's Afghanistan/Pakistan Regional Director Akbar Ayazi will moderate Afghanistan's final presidential debate on April 1.

# As news breaks in Ukraine, Russia, and the surrounding area, RFE/RL correspondents are available for comment and interviews.

For news from all of RFE/RL's broadcast regions, follow us online and on Twitter and Facebook.

-- Karisue Wyson