'They Screamed Until They Died': Remembering Kosovo's Racak Massacre
Twenty years ago, 45 ethnic Albanian civilians were killed by Serbian-led security forces in the Kosovar village of Racak, a massacre that sparked international outrage and changed the Kosovo war.
New Antigay Purge In Chechnya Prompts Renewed Calls For Accountability
LGBT activists allege that a new antigay purge in Chechnya has led to at least two deaths by torture and the detention of around 40 people. An earlier crackdown provoked international condemnation but little action within Russia when reports of it first surfaced in April 2017.
Ukrainian Crowd Blocks Priests From Church
A confrontation occurred at a church in northern Ukraine as residents prevented priests affiliated with the Moscow Patriarchate from entering on Sunday, January 13. The Orthodox Church of Ukraine split from the Moscow Patriarchate earlier this month.
Flames Of Protest: The Wave Of Self-Immolations Against Soviet Tanks
Jan Palach set himself alight in central Prague 50 years ago, a shocking act that made headlines around the world. But others before and after Palach took the same desperate action to protest the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia.
Lavrov Says U.S. Out To Torpedo 'Strategic Stability,' Denies Plans To Exchange Whelan
In his annual press conference on January 16, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov lashed out repeatedly at the United States, accusing Washington of unilateral actions “aimed at the demolition of very important international legal instruments that provide for strategic stability.” Lavrov also rejected speculation over the possibility of a prisoner exchange enabling the release of detained former U.S. marine Paul Whelan. Lavrov said that about 20 U.S. citizens are presently detained in Russia.
Russia In 'Material Breach' Of Key Nuclear Treaty, U.S. Says
Washington has said that Russia remains "in material breach" of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty after a new round of bilateral talks in Geneva ended with no progress.
U.S. Senators Advance Deripaska Sanctions Resolution Over Administration Objections
The U.S. Senate has moved forward with a resolution opposing a White House plan to ease sanctions on Russian companies tied to billionaire Oleg Deripaska. Eleven Republican senators joined all Democrats in the January 15 vote, which clears the way for formal debate followed by a final vote on the resolution.
U.S. Charges Two Ukrainians In $100 Million Hack Of U.S. Security Regulator
The U.S. has charged Artem Radchenko, 27, and Oleksandr Ieremenko, 26, with securities fraud, wire fraud, and other charges in a 16-count indictment unsealed on January 15, alleging the two Ukrainians orchestrated an audacious, multiyear scheme to hack into the database of the Securities and Exchange Commission and make illegal stock trades.
Russian Court Prolongs Pretrial Detention For Jailed Ukrainian Sailors
In a series of rulings on January 15, Moscow’s Lefortovo district court prolonged the pretrial detention of 20 of the 24 Ukrainian sailors detained by Russian forces in the Black Sea in November. All 24 say they consider themselves prisoners of war.
Putin Replaces Envoy To Central African Republic
Russian President Vladimir Putin has dismissed Moscow's ambassador to the Central African Republic (C.A.R.), where three Russian journalists were killed last summer under suspicious circumstances.
CPJ Denounces Jailing Of Russian Blogger
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) urged Russia to immediately release blogger Viktor Toroptsev, who was jailed for an alleged traffic violation after sharing a video that purportedly showed officials attending the funeral of a local crime boss.
First Online Cryptocurrency Exchange Launched In Belarus
The first online cryptocurrency exchange, based on blockchain technology, has been launched in Belarus. Local media reported on January 15 that the "world's first regulated tokenized securities exchange" at Currency.com is financially supported by London-based Belarusian entrepreneur Viktar Prakapenya and Russian businessman Said Gutseriyev.
Serbian Officials Tuning Up For Putin Belgrade Visit
For Serbia, there may be few higher-level meetings than the planned get-together on January 17 between Russian President Vladimir Putin, the most popular foreign politician in Serbia, and Serbian officials in Belgrade.
Hague Court Questioning Ends For Former Kosovar War Commander
Former commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army Rrustem Mustafa has completed two days of questioning at a controversial special court in the Netherlands about his role during Kosovo's 1998-99 war of independence from Serbia.
Joining Hunger Strike, Ismailova Calls For ‘Zero’ Policy On Political Prisoners
Azerbaijani journalist Khadija Ismayilova has joined a hunger strike by a group of activists calling for the release of jailed anticorruption blogger Mehman Huseynov and other people they consider political prisoners.
Turkmenistan Said To Register Reservists As Tension Mounts On Afghan Border
Turkmen authorities have launched a campaign to register army reservists amid concerns about militants in neighboring Afghanistan. A defense ministry source told RFE/RL on January 14 that authorities have been instructed to register males younger than 50 years old and assess their suitability to take part in military operations.
PRESSROOM: RFE/RL Brings Putin’s Witnesses To Washington’s National Press Club, Wednesday, January 16, 6:00pm