Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe are meeting in Moscow on January 22 for talks on four disputed Kurile Islands. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on January 21 that neither Russia nor Japan would abandon their national interests, adding that the talks would likely be a "drawn out" process.
More than 50 swimmers braved the icy water of Belgrade’s Ciganlija Lake on January 19 for a race to celebrate the day that many Orthodox Christians celebrate as the Feast of the Epiphany.
With a burst of flames and a boom that roars down the valley -- a 1950s howitzer blasts holes in the snow to prevent avalanches on Europe's highest peak, the 5,642 meter Mt. Elbrus in Russia's Caucasus Mountains.
An unconfirmed report from the Interfax news agency says that a passenger on an Aeroflot flight from the Siberian city of Surgut to Moscow demanded that the plane travel to Afghanistan instead. A flight tracking website showed a jet that had been headed toward Moscow from Surgut, 2,150 kilometers northeast of the capital, had turned around and was flying in roughly the opposite direction.
Ahead of the January 22 hearing, during which a Russian court denied U.S. citizen Paul Whelan’s request for release, the Interfax news agency quoted Whelan’s lawyer as saying that "when Whelan was detained, information containing a state secret was found. But how he got it, what he was supposed to do with it, and whether Whelan knew that he had secret information is unknown."
Russian authorities say a fire that broke out on two Tanzanian-flagged commercial vessels off the Crimean Peninsula has killed at least 10 people, while 12 sailors have been rescued and 10 others are listed as missing. Ukrainian authorities claimed that the ships had been transporting gas to Syria illegally.
Washington has again called on Moscow to take "demonstrable steps" to save a key Cold War arms-control treaty, and reiterated claims that Russia's behavior is not that of a "responsible state actor."
Russian pop star Emin Agalarov has canceled a planned U.S. tour after a breakdown in talks with Special Counsel Robert Mueller and Congress about possible testimony over his alleged involvement in a much-scrutinized meeting at Trump Tower in 2016.
European Union foreign ministers have approved targeted sanctions against two senior Russian military intelligence officials and two men Britain suspects in the nerve-agent poisoning of Sergei Skripal.
European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic, after chairing a meeting with Russian and Ukrainian officials in Brussels on January 21, said the two countries should be able to reach an agreement by the end of 2019 on the transportation of natural gas to the European Union.
Amnesty International reports that Anastasia Shevchenko, the coordinator of the Open Russia civic movement in Rostov-on-Don, was charged on January 21 with “repeated participation in the activities of an undesirable organization,” the first such case to be prosecuted under the Russian law.
Yulia Tymoshenko, leader of the opposition Fatherland party, has officially announced her candidacy in Ukraine’s March presidential elections. Most opinion polls give Tymoshenko the highest rating among current presidential contenders. (in Russian, Current Time TV)
In a bid to end long years of relative isolation for his Central Asian country, Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoev has met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other German leaders in Berlin, and expressed hopes that closer ties would boost German investment in Uzbekistan as well as technological cooperation.
Kazakh authorities are hunting for three suspected poachers of Kazakhstan’s ancient and endangered saiga antelope, including one who is alleged to have fatally beaten a wildlife ranger.
A recent Levada Center poll has found that 44% of Russian respondents believe the government is failing to fulfill its obligations to its citizens, the highest measure of dissatisfied responses to this question since 54% expressed disfavor in 2006. 29% of respondents said the government gives them so little that they owe nothing to it; 5% said the government gives them everything and they have no right to demand anything else. (In Russian, Current Time TV)