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Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Campaign Headquarters (RFE/RL Russian Service)
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Campaign Headquarters (RFE/RL Russian Service)


THE POWER VERTICAL: ‘For Your Freedom, And Ours’

Ordinary Muscovites took to the streets 27 years ago to support the rights of Lithuanians. With the Magnitsky Act, Lithuanians are returning the favor.

Is This Russia's Smallest TV Station?

Studio Alfa is perhaps Russia's smallest TV channel -- staffed by a single family, but broadcasting regularly for 17 years.

Ukrainian Protesters Demand Russia Be Called An ‘Occupier’

Police and protesters clashed on January 16 near the Ukrainian parliament, which was set to consider legislation on the "reintegration" of regions held by Russian separatists. (Ukrainian Service)

Smuggling, Corruption, Delays Hit Kazakh Prestige Project

On the Kazakh-Chinese border, plans are taking shape for what authorities say will be the largest Special Economic Zone in the region. China has already constructed a city on its side, but the Kazakh project has been mired in scandals and delays.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Doubts Qualifications In Leaked 1989 Video

A leaked video from 1989 reveals that Iran's Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was elected to a one-year caretaker period as supreme leader, a position for which he said he didn't feel qualified.


Who's On The List? Russia's Elite Nervous About New U.S. Sanctions

U.S. officials are putting the finishing touches on new financial and travel sanctions against Russia that are expected to target an expanded list of Kremlin-connected insiders, business leaders and secondary companies.

Lithuania Bars Kadyrov, Other Prominent Russians Under New Magnitsky Law

Lithuania has issued its first blacklist of 49 Russians banned for allegedly violating human rights or engaging in corruption and money laundering under its new Magnitsky law.

New Bill On ‘Foreign Agent’ Media Advances In Russian Duma

Russian lawmakers have given preliminary approval to a bill that would enable the government to brand some individual journalists and bloggers -- not only media outlets -- as foreign agents.

‘Foreign Agent’ Status Prohibits Levada Center Polling

The independent survey group has confirmed that, effective December 18, 2017, the official start of Russia’s presidential campaign period, it has stopped publishing polls. Levada head Alexei Levinson told Current Time TV, “This is not our decision. Since we are registered as a ‘foreign agent,’ we are subject to a ban on participation in election campaigns.” (in Russian, Current Time TV)

Russia Deploys Second S-400 Division To Annexed Crimea

Russia has reportedly deployed a new unit armed with the advanced S-400 air-defense system in the Ukrainian region of Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014.

Jailed Chechen Activist Denied Medical Treatment

Chechen human rights activist Oyub Titiyev, who was jailed on January 9 on a drug-possession charge supporters say was fabricated, is in severe pain and being denied the medical help he needs, his lawyer said on January 15.

Ukraine Conflict Has Increased Spread Of HIV ‘Epidemic'

The conflict in eastern Ukraine has increased the spread of HIV throughout the country as people have been uprooted by the violence, a new study finds. Donetsk and Luhansk, two large cities in the conflict zone, were among the main exporters of the HIV virus to other parts of the country.

IMF Criticizes Ukrainian Presidential Bill On Anticorruption Court

The head of the IMF mission to Ukraine has addressed a letter to Ukraine’s presidential administration expressing concern that several provisions in a presidential draft law to create a Supreme Court mandated to address corruption violate Ukraine’s international commitments. (Ukrainian Service)

Journalist’s Sentence Raises Questions About Human Rights In Azerbaijan

The European Union on January 14 denounced the prison sentence handed down to Azerbaijani journalist Afqan Muxtarli, saying it poses “serious questions” regarding the exercise of fundamental rights in the country.

Serbian Political Leader In Northern Kosovo Shot Dead

Oliver Ivanovic, an ethnic Serb political leader in northern Kosovo, has been shot dead in front of his office in the Serb-dominated northern part of the divided city of Mitrovica.

EU Says Serbia, Montenegro Could Join The Bloc In 2025

Montenegro and Serbia should be ready for EU membership in 2025 and Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, and Macedonia should be well-advanced on their path to EU accession by then.

Kazakh, U.S. Presidents Meet To Discuss Afghanistan, Russia

Kazakhstan’s state news agency Kazinform reports the meeting, scheduled for January 16, “will focus on the situation in Afghanistan, the Syrian conflict, and relations with Russia.”

BLOGGING THE BALKANS: Screenwriter Revisits Feud With Filmmaker Kusturica

MAJLIS PODCAST: A New Era For Tajik-Uzbek Relations

7.40am -- Good Morning!

[Excerpt from Current Time TV’s daily, first-read for Russian-speaking audiences.]

A probe into embezzlement charges brought against prominent Russian theater director Kirill Serebrennikov has ended, with investigators producing 100 volumes of documentation and doubling their original estimate of damages. Today, a Moscow city court will consider a request from Serebrennikov’s defense to extend his home arrest.

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