Members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Human Rights Watch, and The Washington Post's editorial board are among those organizations urging the Azerbaijani government to release hunger-striking blogger Mehman Huseynov, who was targeted with a new charge just weeks before his expected release from prison.
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople has handed over a "tomos" of autocephaly to Metropolitan Epifaniy of the new Orthodox Church in Ukraine, granting the Orthodox Church in Ukraine independence, or autocephaly after more than 330 years of Russian religious control in Ukraine.
Christians in Russia's Republic of Tatarstan celebrated Orthodox Christmas in a church in Kazan once used to execute prisoners during the Soviet era. Orthodox Christian Kryashen-Tatars gathered separately in Kazan’s Tikhvin Church, where services were held in a dialect of the Tatar language. Ceremonies were also held in Kyrgyzstan's capital, Bishkek. In the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, Orthodox Christians marched in their annual "Alilo" Christmas procession.
Kristina Bacic, a young army officer, is Montenegro's first female pilot. She's encountered some skepticism but is driven to prove she can accomplish just as much as her male peers.
A journalist has set up the first local radio station in the remote village of Suusamyr, in the Chuy region of Kyrgyzstan. The station is run mostly by volunteers, and combines reports on lost cows with music and sports.
The Russian Foreign Ministry says the American man arrested in Moscow on espionage charges may receive visits from diplomats from the three other countries where he holds citizenship.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan are planning to meet “soon” to discuss the announced departure of U.S. troops from Syria. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed the leaders’ intent, but said an exact date has not yet been set.
The trial has opened of 28 people accused of involvement in the 2016 killing of Andrei Karlov, Russia's ambassador to Turkey. Those indicted include U.S.-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen. It wasn't immediately clear how many of the alleged suspects would be appearing when the January 8 trial begins in Ankara.
Russia’s space agency says it is demanding an explanation after NASA called off the planned visit to the United States by Dmitry Rogozin, the chief of Roskosmos who is subject to U.S. and European Union sanctions. Roskosmos added that planned talks with the U.S. on possible cooperation on the International Space Station (ISS) are "so far not suspended."
A U.S. naval warship has arrived at a Romanian port, a show of force by the United States in the Black Sea. The USS Fort McHenry is the first U.S. ship to enter the Black Sea since a naval standoff between Russian and Ukrainian forces near the annexed Crimea Peninsula in November.
The whereabouts of six Russian sailors abducted by pirates in Benin’s territorial waters are still unknown, Russian officials say. Pirates seized the Panamanian-flagged MSC Mandy container ship early on January 2, robbing crew members and abducting six hostages before fleeing.
Ukraine has filed a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg asking the court to recognize Russia’s violation of the rights of 24 Ukrainian seamen captured by Russia in the strait of Kerch on November 25, 2018. (Ukrainian Service)
Six Uzbek and Kyrgyz nationals living in Sweden have gone on trial in Stockholm accused of transferring funds to the extremist group Islamic State (IS). Three of the Central Asian men are also charged with plotting an attack in the Scandinavian country.
Some 300 activists gathered in the center of the Kyrgyz capital on January 7 to protest what they called the increasing number of Chinese migrants in Kyrgyzstan. Participants urged authorities to deport illegal migrants back to their country and stop granting citizenship to those who marry Kyrgyz nationals.
Uzbekistan’s president has issued a decree that allows unmarried couples to share rooms in hotels across the former Soviet republic, an effort, according to the decree, to secure unmarried couples' "right to a private life."
A project published by Transparency International and the Meduza online media outlet documents the career paths, often in the footsteps of their parents, of the children of Russian officials and tycoons. For example, the son of Roscosmos head Dmitry Rogozin is the vice-president of a transport aviation company. The son of Russian Security Council Chief Nikolai Patrushev is Russia’s agriculture minister. The son of Ecology and Transport Minister Sergei Ivanov, formerly Putin’s chief of staff, is the president of a diamond mining company. (Russian Service)