A Current Time video tracks the amount of screen time Russian state TV gave to Epiphany bathing rituals (a lot), in comparison to its coverage of recent attacks in high schools in Perm and Buryatia (a little). The attacks got 13 mentions during non-primetime morning and afternoon shows across three networks, but no mentions during Russia’s highly popular weekend shows. (Current Time TV)
British director Armando Iannucci has defended his comedy film The Death Of Stalin, saying that it is both "funny" and "true." Russia's Culture Ministry has reportedly revoked the license to show the movie in Russian cinemas.
The overwhelming majority of respondents to an informal street poll in Moscow believe there is a conspiracy against Russian Olympic athletes, and against Russia as a whole. But one respondent, while doubting a “conspiracy,” believed that political games are involved. Another wished to believe that everyone plays by the rules. One suggested the controversy is an attempt to galvanize Russians’ support for their athletes. Another claimed the controversy is attracting support for Russian athletes abroad. (Russian Service)
Russia has lashed out over a U.S. charge that Moscow bears responsibility for the use of chemical weapons in Syria, and accused Washington of seeking to stymie efforts to end the war in the Middle Eastern country.
In a meeting in Kyiv on January 23, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and U.S. Special Envoy for Ukraine Kurt Volker reportedly shared "serious concern" about Russia's lack of progress in implementing the Minsk agreements.
Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden has praised a White House decision to supply Ukraine with more lethal weaponry, but also suggested that weaker U.S. policy toward Kyiv was leading to backsliding on crucial anticorruption reforms.
Officials in Russia-annexed Crimea have been equipped with new Toyotas and Mercedes. The contract, signed in late 2017, is funded from the peninsula’s budget, indicating that Crimean officials have bypassed Western sanctions. (Crimea Realities)
The Moscow-based human rights group Memorial says unknown attackers torched one of its cars in the Daghestani capital, Makhachkala, on January 22 in the latest assault in what it has called a “terror campaign” against its members in the North Caucasus region.
Opposition politician Aleksei Navalny told the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg on January 24 that his repeated arrests at the hands of Russian authorities are politically motivated.
Officials with the governmental Center For The Fight Against Extremism in Tatarstan’s capital city have confiscated hundreds of leaflets issued by opposition politician Aleksei Navalny’s campaign calling for a boycott of Russia’s March 18 presidential election.
Russia now has a coin commemorating the iconic Russian musician, actor, and poet Vladimir Vysotsky, who would be 80 years old on January 25 if he were still alive.
Russian director Andrei Zvyagintsev's drama Loveless has been nominated for an Oscar for best foreign-language film.
Azerbaijan has sentenced Gozel Bayramli, deputy chairwoman of the opposition Popular Front Party, to three years in prison on charges of smuggling $12,000 of undeclared cash across the Georgian border. She has rejected the charges as politically motivated.
Authorities in Kazakhstan say a Dutch court has lifted a freeze on Kazakh sovereign-fund assets worth $22 billion, and that they are seeking the cancellation of a court ruling in Belgium that had frozen other assets.
Among its many successes, the Network of Women Living With HIV, a Tajik NGO that provides legal assistance to HIV-positive women, has led at least a dozen HIV-positive people to love and marriage.