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VISUAL REPORTS

Putin Awards State Honors To Serbian President Vucic

A military honor guard welcomed Russian President Vladimir Putin on a state visit to Serbia on January 17. During the one-day visit, Putin awarded Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic with a Russian state honor, the Order of Aleksandr Nevsky.

Sea Tragedy Raises Donbas Coal Theft Claims

When a ship sank in the Black Sea with 3,300 tons of coal on board, Kyiv said Moscow was illegally exporting coal from areas of eastern Ukraine held by Russia-backed separatists.

PHOTOGALLERY: Fifty Years On, Czech Student Jan Palach Remains Symbol Of Defiance

On January 16, 1969, Jan Palach set himself on fire in Prague in protest against the August 1968 Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia. In 1989, 20 years after his death, gatherings in Palach’s memory turned into mass protests that gave momentum to the Velvet Revolution that brought down Czechoslovakia’s communist regime later that year.

OTHER NEWS

Facebook And Twitter Comply With Russian Data Localization Order

Russian media reports that Facebook and Twitter have complied with an order by Roskomnadzor to transfer data from millions of Russian users to the media regulator for storage in Russia, in accordance with a January 17 deadline. (Russian Service)

Russian Internet Companies Support Duma Bill To Create ‘Sovereign Internet’

Russian internet companies Yandex and Mail.ru expressed support in a January 17 Duma hearing for legislation introduced last month establishing a national “sovereign internet” that would operate separate from global networks and permit authorities to control the dissemination of information and manage “external threats.” (Russian Service)

Facebook Removes Hundreds Of Fake Pages, Accounts 'Linked' To Russia's Sputnik

Facebook has removed hundreds of pages, groups, and accounts on its Facebook and Instagram platforms that the U.S. company says were part of two online disinformation operations targeting users across the former Soviet space.

European Parliament Calls For Release Of Azerbaijani Blogger

European lawmakers representing all major political parties in the European Parliament have overwhelmingly passed a resolution calling for the unconditional release of jailed Azerbaijani anticorruption blogger Mehman Huseynov.

Russian Military Jets Collide Over Sea Of Japan

Two Russian jets have collided in midair in the Far East, the Russian Defense Ministry said. The Russian military said on January 18 that two Su-34 jets were performing training flights when they came into contact about 35 kilometers from the shore in the Sea of Japan..

Russian Oil Companies Accuse National Guard Of Monopolizing Security Contracts

Russian media reports that leading Russian oil companies Lukoil, Gazprom Neft, Sibur and Tatneft have issued a joint complaint to the Russian Security Council claiming that the National Guard is attempting to take control of the companies’ security arrangements, preventing them from choosing their security providers independently. (Russian Service)

Belarus Looking Into Russian Detention Of Model With Oligarch Ties

The Belarus embassy in Moscow says it is looking into the case of Belarus model Anastasia Vashukevich, who was detained by Russian authorities after landing in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport on January 17 following her deportation from Thailand.

Russia Says Gas Likely Cause Of Deadly Magnitogorsk Apartment Blast

Russia’s Investigative Committee says a gas leak remains the likely cause of a deadly apartment collapse last month in Magnitogorsk after the extremist group Islamic State (IS) said it had bombed the building.

Turks Live In Fear As Erdogan's Wrath Stretches To Ukraine

Yunus Erdogdu has been afraid to leave his apartment building on the outskirts of Kyiv since mid-July. That's when Ukrainian authorities arrested and extradited two fellow Turkish nationals-- a journalist and an entrepreneur -- whom Ankara alleges are linked to a failed coup in 2016 against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Amid War And Annexation, Russia Expands Exports To Ukraine

Ukraine’s State Statistics Service reports that Russia is expanding exports to Ukraine, which currently total more than twice the amount of Ukrainian goods sold in Russia. Some experts attribute the increase to rising prices on the world market for raw materials and energy. Others contend that authorities are no longer seeking to minimize trade with Russia. (Ukrainian Service)

Ukraine Detains 'Pro-Separatist' Journalist After Deportation From Russia

Ukrainian journalist Olena Boyko (aka Olena Vishchur) is accused by Ukrainian authorities of undermining the country’s territorial integrity after distributing “anti-Ukrainian material” on the Internet since 2014.

During Serbia Visit, Putin Accuses Kosovo Of 'Illegally' Setting Up Army

Speaking at a joint news conference after talks with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic in Belgrade on January 17, Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Kosovo of taking provocative measures that have ratcheted up tensions with Serbia and could destabilize the region.

Belgrade Court Acquits Suspects In 2008 U.S. Embassy Attack

The Appeals Court of Belgrade said on January 16 that it had overturned suspended prison sentences for four suspects and confirmed a lower court’s acquittal of three other people named in an indictment following the 2008 attack.

Anti-China Protesters Fined In Kyrgyzstan

The Kyrgyz Interior Ministry has confirmed that fines of 3,000 soms ($45) for disrupting public order were imposed on 21 activists who were detained on January 17 when some 500 people rallied at Bishkek’s Ala-Too Square in support of ethnic Kyrgyz who they said were being persecuted in reeducation camps in China's Xinjiang.

Little Blue Fatwa: Tajik Religious Leaders Give Blessing To Viagra

Tajikistan's Council of Ulema has given its blessing to anti-impotence drugs such as Viagra, arguing that the pills, permitted only to married men, could help prevent marriages from falling apart.

COMMENTARY: Is Turkmenistan Being Pulled Into Russia's Orbit?

PRESSROOM: Romania Wakes Up To RFE/RL

PRESSROOM: RFE/RL’s Radio Mashaal Marks Nearly A Decade Of Impact In Pakistan’s Tribal Regions

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