- Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadim Prystayko and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif have agreed that their investigative teams work work in cooperation.
- Iran’s civil aviation chief has said that Iran would not provide Boeing with the black box from the aircraft, the country’s official Mehr news agency has reported. (Ukrainian Service)
Ukrainian commercial airliner crashed on January 8 soon after takeoff from Iran’s capital Tehran, killing 176 people on board.
Iran’s Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) have roughly 125,000 military personnel, including ground, aerospace and naval forces. This is how they are organized.
Christians paraded through the city streets of the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, to celebrate Orthodox Christmas on January 7. The traditional annual march known as Alilo features costumes and floats depicting Christ's nativity scene.
A Ukrainian commercial airliner en route to Kyiv crashed on January 8 soon after taking off from Iran's capital, Tehran, killing all people on board, mostly Iranian nationals, but also Western and Ukrainian citizens. The crash came just hours after Iran launched a ballistic-missile attack targeting two bases in Iraq housing U.S. forces. The cause of the crash was not immediately clear.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, are meeting in Istanbul to inaugurate TurkStream, an $8 billion dual natural-gas line that Moscow hopes will end its dependence on Ukraine to get its natural gas to Europe.
Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill has criticized a draft bill on domestic violence, claiming that the term is borrowed from abroad and so the adoption of such a law would create in the minds of Russian lawmakers “dependence on foreign innovations” and a desire to align Russian laws with the laws of foreign countries. A recent, independent poll shows that 70% of Russians support the law to help prevent domestic abuse. (Russian Service)
Activists in Kazakhstan's largest city, Almaty, have urged Ukraine not to extradite Kazakh opposition blogger Zhanar Akhmet over fears for her safety. The process to extradite Akhmet has been under way since October 2017, after she was arrested in Kyiv on the basis of a Kazakh arrest warrant that accuses her of fraud.
Travel by Ukrainian passport holders has doubled since 2010, making Ukraine the world’s sixth biggest climber in the category over the past decade, according to the newly published annual Henley Passport Index. Driving the rise was a far-reaching political and economic pact with the European Union following the pro-democracy Maidan uprising of 2014.
Kosovo's presumed next prime minister has pushed back against a presidential deadline to force his leftist party to end a three-month postelection stalemate within "48 hours" by nominating someone to head the next government.
A report by RFE/RL’s Tajik Service raises questions about an announcement made in September 2019 by Tajikistan’s Faroz company, controlled by President Emomali Rahmon’s wealthy son-in-law, Shamsullo Sohibov, that it would shut down due to tough market conditions and dwindling profits. According to the investigation, the company is alive and well.