For Russia, they are the justly earned spoils of war. For Japan, the Kurile Islands are stolen territory, lost to Soviet aggression and Western interference. More than 70 years after the last shot was fired in World War II, the two countries remain locked in a stalemate over four wave-battered islands.
A IT instructor in Serbia has been shortlisted among the 50 educators nominated for the Varkey Global Teacher Prize.
Business woman and blogger Kamilla Shokanova lives in the Kazakh capital, Astana. She has cerebral palsy, but many mistake her for being drunk. Shokanova says people with disabilities in Kazakhstan often face humiliation and discrimination, and she wants to change that.
Russia has rejected a British suggestion that it might use a former U.S. Marine detained last month in Russia on espionage charges as a pawn in a diplomatic game, saying that Moscow reserves the right to conduct counterintelligence activities.
Seven House committee leaders have called on U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to outline the reasons why the United States is easing sanctions on companies linked to Russian tycoon Oleg Deripaska.
A new U.S. court filing shows that President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort shared polling data during the 2016 presidential campaign with Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian-Ukrainian man whom U.S. intelligence suspects of having ties to Russian spy agencies. Kilimnik spoke to RFE/RL in February 2017 about a peace plan for Ukraine that Manafort’s lawyers say the two may have discussed.
A Sevastopol court in Russia-annexed Crimea has ruled to ban the Church of Evangelical Christian Baptists Grace, finding it in “repeated gross violation” of requirements for non-profit organizations, specifically for failure to report the change of the organization’s address. In 2018 Russia's Supreme Court banned the Jehovah's Witnesses movement and prosecuted more than 60 of its members. (Russian Service)
Yet another patriotic war movie has taken Russia by storm. T-34, a high-octane tribute to the Soviet tank that played a key role on the Eastern Front of World War II, is the latest in a series of big-budget history flicks sponsored by the Culture Ministry and lavished with round-the-clock coverage on Russian state TV.
Turkish rescue teams say they have recovered the bodies of three Ukrainians who were killed when a cargo ship sank off Turkey's Black Sea coast on January 7. Ukraine's Ambassador to Turkey Andriy Sybiha said on Twitter on January 8 that the body of another Ukrainian citizen who died in the incident had been recovered.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has honored the Ukrainian Orthodox Patriarch Filaret with the title, Hero Of Ukraine, in recognition of the Church’s assumption of autocephaly, or independence. (Ukrainian Service)
World Bank analysts predict a slowdown in Belarus’s gross domestic product from 3.4% in 2018 to 2.7% in 2019, and 2.5% in 2020-2021. The report cited a lack of structural reforms, noting that Belarus must shift from cyclical recovery to sustainable structural economic recovery. (Belarus Service)
Macedonian lawmakers is set to hold a crucial debate on January 9 on changing the country's name to settle a decades-long dispute with Greece. Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, who has backed changing the country's name to Republic of North Macedonia, lacks a majority in the 120-member parliament and will need opposition support to pass the measure.
The corruption trial of former Uzbek prosecutor-general Rashidjon Qodirov has reportedly begun behind closed doors in Tashkent's Yunusobod district court. Qodirov was arrested in February 2018 and charged with extortion, bribery, and abuse of office about three years after he was sacked amid a purge of officials connected to the investigation of Gulnara Karimova, the late president’s eldest daughter.
Following a one-day hearing in a Tashkent court, Mirodil Jalolov, the former CEO of the Uzbek firm Zeromax, has been released from a detention center in Tashkent. The court found Jalolov guilty of embezzlement and forgery, and ordered him to pay a fine of about $2,000. In 2008, the assets of Zeromax were valued at about $4.5 billion.