A senior Ukrainian security official told RFE/RL that a missile strike was one of several causes being considered for the crash of a Ukrainian airliner over Iran. Iran has insisted this airplane was not hit by a missile.”
Hundreds of opposition activists in Georgia's breakaway region of Abkhazia are continuing their protest demanding that separatist leader Raul Khajimba resign.
Hundreds of Serbs marched in Gracanica, a small Serb-populated municipality in Kosovo, to protest about a new law passed in neighboring Montenegro that could force the Serbian Orthodox Church to hand over churches and other property to the authorities.
- Iran has given Ukrainian experts access to the fragments of an airliner that crashed earlier this week near Tehran, and invited Boeing and the U.S. accident-investigation agency to help investigate the incident.
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has asked the U.S., Canada, and Great Britain to hand over all the evidence they have regarding the crash to investigators. He announced a call with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on January 10.
"One thing is for certain, this airplane was not hit by a missile," Iran's civil aviation chief Ali Abedzadeh told a news conference on January 10 after leaders from the United States, Britain, and Canada all said intelligence data indicates a catastrophic error by Iranian air defense batteries brought down the plane.
In his first post on Facebook since his release in a prisoner exchange on December 29, RFE/RL Ukrainian Service contributor Stanislav Aseyev thanked those who helped gain his release, referred to several health issues he needs to address, and said his top priority would be “ to release those who are still in captivity” of whom there are many. (Ukrainian Service)
Moscow’s Basmanny district court has extended the house arrest of U.S. investor Michael Calvey and his partner, French national Philippe Delpal, until February 13. The court also prolonged the house arrest of two Russian citizens -- former Vostochny Bank CEO Aleksei Kordichev and former Vostochny Bank investment director Aleksandr Tsakunov.
Russian President Vladimir Putin attended military exercises in Crimea aboard the Soviet-built cruiser Marshal Ustinov on January 9 that involved over 30 ships, a submarine, over 40 aircraft, and drills of the “Caliber” and hypersonic aerial ballistic “Kinzhal” missiles. Russian military observer Pavel Felgenhauer says Russia seeks to control the entire Black Sea, despite its aging naval fleet. (Ukrainian Service/Crimea Realities)
Human Rights Watch says Russian law enforcement authorities have “dramatically escalated the nationwide persecution” of Jehovah’s Witnesses over the past year. The monitoring group reports that house raids and investigations have more than doubled, and 32 Jehovah’s Witnesses worshipers are behind bars.
The World Anti-Doping Agency has formally requested the Court of Arbitration of Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland, to rule on Russia's four-year ban for doping after the Russian Anti-Doping Agency last month formally protested the decision.
A committee appointed by the Russian Academy of Sciences last year to tackle plagiarism and academic ethics says that more than 800 scientific papers have been retracted since last summer, when it first pinpointed more than 2,500 dubious papers published in some of Russia's 6,000 scientific journals.
Bulgarian authorities have detained Neno Dimov, the country’s minister of environment and water, for 24 hours in connection with a criminal investigation over water shortages in and around the western town of Pernik that have led to anti-government protests.
Authorities in Tajikistan have been silent about reports of the detention of at least 27 suspected followers of the banned Muslim Brotherhood movement. Law enforcement agency sources told RFE/RL the suspects were detained in dozens of raids as Tajik authorities uncovered an alleged Muslim Brotherhood cell operating in the capital, Dushanbe, as well as in the Sughd and Khatlon provinces.
The trial of former Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambaev for illegally releasing a jailed organized crime boss in 2013 will be held in absentia as the former leader continues to refuse to take part in the process. The judge made the ruling on January 9 after Atambaev left the room when the proceedings began at the headquarters of the State Committee for National Security.
IRAN: Continual updates by Radio Farda on the aftermath of the Soleimani attack at https://en.radiofarda.com/
PRESSROOM: Washington Post Cites RFE/RL’s Golnaz Esfandiari On Complicated Picture In Iran After Soleimani Attack