What Putin said, what he didn’t say -- and what he really meant during his state-of-the-nation address to the Federal Assembly at the Manezh Central Exhibition Hall in Moscow on January 15, 2020.
To get a sense of how President Vladimir Putin’s pledges for change are playing with ordinary Russians, Current Time spoke with voters in the cities of Kazan and St. Petersburg.
A court in Kazakhstan ruled on January 16 that Tilek Tabarikuly, an ethnic-Kazakh man who said he fled persecution from China's Xinjiang region, will not be deported.
Pictures of Pripyat, the abandoned town near Chernobyl, are world famous -- but Ukraine has another nuclear ghost town, Orbita, which was built for workers at the Chigirinsky nuclear plant.
The exercise machines are made of manhole covers, tires, and stones at a makeshift open-air gym that was set up on the outskirts of Moscow in 1972.
For analysts paying close attention, Russian President Vladimir’s Putin’s remarks in his January 15 state-of-the-nation address signified another step for the Kremlin away from the system of international law and rules in place since World War II, and a shift toward autarky.
Russian President Vladimir Putin's new prime minister, Mikhail Mishustin, has a reputation for getting things done. During his near-decade long tenure at the helm of Russia's tax service, Mishustin tripled the amount of money his agency delivers to the budget.
In an interview with Current Time, former deputy finance minister under Yeltsin and Kremlin critic Sergey Aleksashenko summed up Russian President Vladimir Putin’s announcement of constitutional changes, saying his message to the political elite was, “I will stay, I will not go anywhere and I will rule for a long time.” He said “Putin’s inner circle...received a clear signal that ‘I’m not tired and I’m not leaving.’” (Current Time, in Russian)
Speaking at his annual round-up news conference on January 17, Acting Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has blamed “aggressive” U.S. policies for heightened global tensions and called on Washington and Tehran to de-escalate relations.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk has submitted his resignation amid a scandal surrounding an audio recording where he allegedly disparages the economic knowledge and competence of both himself and President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. Zelenskiy gave security officials two weeks to determine who made the recording.
Ukraine saw an increase in freedom of speech violations in 2019, the local media watchdog Institute of Mass Information said in a yearly report published on January 16. The report stated there were 243 cases in 2019, eight more than the previous year, and that for the first time in three years, a journalist was killed.
In response to reported ties between assassinated Iranian Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani and a 2012 terrorist bombing in Bulgaria that killed five Israeli tourists and their Bulgarian bus driver, Bulgaria’s political leadership is not making the link, and is even backtracking from statements made by previous government officials.
Georgi Kutoyan, the former head of Armenia’s National Security Service from 2016 to 2018, has been found dead with a gunshot wound in a Yerevan apartment in a residential area north of the city center.
Police in Kyrgyzstan have questioned a fifth student associated with the news site Kloop following a complaint from Ruslan Matraimov, the brother of former customs official Raim Matraimov, who is at the center of a massive corruption scandal reported by Kloop, RFE/RL, and OCCRP. (in Russian, Current Time TV)
Former Kazakh Interior Minister Qalmukhanbet Qasymov, whom rights defenders accuse of ordering police to open fire at a protest by oil workers in 2011, has become the chief of the Central Asian nation's State Guard Service.
Acting Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on January 16 held talks with Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoev and Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Komilov in Tashkent. The Uzbek presidential press service said that during the talks Mirziyoev expressed " deep satisfaction” with the development of the two countries’ partnership.
Schemes, the investigative program of RFE/RL’s Ukrainian Service, has found that two companies received special permits in 2019 to mine tantalum and gold in Kirovograd region, in violation of standard permitting procedures. The founders of the companies are closely linked to people associated with Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov and Pavlo Yakymenko, an MP with President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s Servant of the People party. (Ukrainian Service)