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VISUAL REPORTS

Bosnian Serbs Celebrate Controversial 'Republika Srpska Day'

The January 9 holiday marks the date in 1992 when Bosnian Serbs declared their own state in Bosnia, triggering a four-year war that left over 100,000 people dead and millions homeless. Several thousand people, many waving Serbian flags, lined the streets of Banja Luka, the capital of Bosnia's Serbian entity, Republika Srpska, to watch a celebratory parade.

Macedonian Lawmakers To Resume Debate Over Name Change

Macedonian lawmakers are set to resume a crucial debate on renaming the country North Macedonia to resolve a decades-long dispute with neighboring Greece and open the way for NATO and European Union membership.

Chelyabinsk Man Teaches The Beauty Of The Banya

Ivan Boyarintsev gave up city life hosting events to teach others how to run a traditional banya, or sauna, in Chelyabinsk, Russia. He now offers courses from beginner level to master classes on how the banya can give meaning to life.

Managing Expectorations: Kyrgyz Protest Spitting Fines

A new law against spitting, with fines up to a third of the average salary, has some people spitting mad in Kyrgyzstan.

OTHER NEWS

Ex-U.S. Marine Held In Russia On Spy Charges Reportedly Seeks Bail

Former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan’s lawyer has filed an appeal with a Moscow court seeking to have his client released on bail. No hearing date has yet been set.

Putin, Merkel Agree To Coordinate Syria Peace Efforts Amid U.S. Troop Pullout

Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have agreed in a telephone call to coordinate efforts to work toward peace in Syria, the Kremlin says. Merkel and Putin also discussed the formation of a committee for Syria to formulate a new constitution.

Turkey Stands By Deal To Buy Russian Missiles

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu says Turkey may buy U.S. Patriot missile systems if conditions are right, but insists such a deal is off the table if Washington forces Ankara to cancel its agreement to purchase S-400 antiaircraft missiles from Russia.

Central African Republic Authorizes Russian Military Base

The defense minister of the Central African Republic (CAR) has confirmed to Russian media that an agreement on military cooperation between the CAR and Moscow signed in August allows Russia to establish a military base inside the country. The relationship has drawn attention since reports surfaced that Russian mercenaries were stationed near gold and diamond mines in the CAR. (Russian Service)

Russia Expresses Anger Over Japanese Comments On Disputed Pacific Islands

Russia has summoned the Japanese ambassador and accused Tokyo of deliberately ramping up tensions ahead of a planned visit by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for talks with President Vladimir Putin on formally ending World War II hostilities.

Russian Protest Artist Pavlensky Faces Arson Trial In Paris

A court in Paris is set to begin hearings in the arson case of Russian political performance artist Pyotr Pavlensky. Prosecutors have called for Pavlensky to receive a sentence of up to 10 years in prison after setting fire to an entrance to the Bank of France on October 16, 2017.

European Court Orders Baku To Pay Ismayilova Over Blackmail Campaign

The European Court of Human Rights has ordered Azerbaijan to pay almost 17,000 euros to investigative reporter Khadija Ismayilova in connection with a blackmail campaign against her that included the online posting of a "sex video" filmed at her apartment without her knowledge.

RFE/RL Journalists Stopped From Covering Kazakhstan Protest

Police in Astana, Kazakhstan, briefly detained an RFE/RL reporter and cameraman on January 9 when they tried to cover a protest in front of the government's headquarters.

Kazakhstan Announces 47 Of Its Citizens Evacuated From Syria

Kazakhstan's security services say that hundreds of Kazakhs have joined up with militant groups in Syria since 2011. "On January 6 this year... 47 citizens of Kazakhstan, including 30 children, were evacuated from Syria," Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev said on January 9.

Astana Says China Allowing 2,000 Ethnic Kazakhs To Leave Xinjiang

Kazakhstan's Foreign Ministry says China is allowing more than 2,000 ethnic Kazakhs to renounce their Chinese citizenship and leave the country. Chinese authorities have targeted members of ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang region, sending as many as 1 million people to internment camps that Beijing describes as "reeducation" centers.

Obituary: Anatoly Lukyanov, Imprisoned After Failed 1991 Soviet Coup, Dies At 88

Anatoly Lukyanov, a former Communist Party official who was imprisoned after the failed 1991 coup against Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, has died at age 88.

INFOGRAPHIC: The Passports That Are Opening More Doors

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