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VISUAL REPORTS

Belarusian Escort Takes To Twitter

Belarusian escort Anastasia Vashukevich, also known as Nastya Rybka, was a no-show at her own press conference, a day after her release from police custody in Russia. But Vashukevich attracted attention on January 23 anyway, apologizing to the media in a Twitter-posted video and thanking "the president of my favorite country."

Kazakh Ranger Killed While Protecting Saiga Antelope

Kazakhs mourned the death of a wildlife ranger who sought to protect the rare Saiga antelope. He was killed in the line of duty.

The Old Man And The Aral Sea

Now 90 years old, Omirzak Ospanov was a fisherman on the Aral Sea before most of it dried into a dust bowl in one of the world's greatest environmental disasters. He remembers the sea's Soviet heyday and prays for it to return to its former glory.

PHOTOGALLERY: Still Rolling: The T-34 Tank

Russia has imported 30 T-34 tanks from Laos because it needs them for military parades, exhibitions, and making movies. The T-34 is a Soviet tank icon, used in conflicts from 1940 until as late as the 1990s.

OTHER NEWS

Kremlin Slams U.S. Backing For Venezuela Opposition Leader

Russia has dismissed Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Gaiudo’s declaration of himself as the country’s acting president, and criticized U.S. President Donald Trump’s announcement recognizing him as the country’s interim leader. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Gauido's announcement was an "attempt to usurp power." Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said, "The developments in Venezuela show very well how progressive Western society really treats international law, sovereignty, and noninterference into internal affairs of other states.”

Russia Confirms 'Private Security Companies' Operating In Sudan

The Russian Foreign Ministry says private Russian companies are training the army in Sudan, confirming their presence in the African country being shaken by mass street demonstrations by opposition forces.

Russia Showcases Missile That U.S. Says Imperils INF Treaty

The Russian military on January 23 invited foreign military attaches and journalists to a briefing on the 9M729 long-range cruise missile, the weapon that is the official reason behind the White House’s announced withdrawal from the INF treaty. The missile was described as having a maximum range of 480 kilometers, and lacking the fuel capacity to fly 500 kilometers, the range that would violate the treaty. Representatives of the U.S., Germany, Britain, France and most other EU countries declined to attend the briefing, saying its goal was not “constructive.” (in Russian, Current Time TV)

Russian Duma Proposes Enhanced Powers To Police Websites, State Symbols, and ‘Truth’

The Russian Duma has adopted a bundle of bills containing measures strengthening the state’s authority to block websites on suspicion of financial crimes, police the dissemination of “unreliable socially significant information,” and penalize citizens for “contempt of society and state symbols.” The three bills must be approved by the Federation Council and signed by the president to be enacted into law. (Russian Service, Current Time)

Kyiv Judge Says Yanukovych's Guilt Proven In Treason Trial

A Ukrainian judge who is delivering the verdict at the in-absentia treason trial of former President Viktor Yanukovych says the evidence proves his guilt, but a formal ruling of guilty or innocent has not yet been pronounced.

Russian Court Orders House Arrest For Activist Under 'Undesirable' Law

A Russian court has ordered nearly two months of house arrest for Anastasia Shevchenko, an activist with а civil society group founded by former Russian oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, in a case that appears to be the first time Russian authorities have criminally prosecuted someone under the 2015 “undesirable organization” law.

Russia Seeks Nearly Seven-Year Sentence For Jehovah's Witness

A Russian prosecutor has asked a court to sentence a Danish man to 6 1/2 years in prison for his affiliation with the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the U.S.- based denomination deemed by Russia to be an extremist organization. Forty-six year-old Dennis Christensen, who was detained in May 2017, is believed to be the first Jehovah’s Witness to go on trial in Russia.

'Your Turn To Lie': Former Russian State TV Cameraman Describes 'The Business Of Misinforming Viewers'

Leonid Krivenkov worked as a camera operator for the Rossiya-24 round-the-clock news channel from 2006 until his retirement in 2016, stationed in Studio Seven, where live broadcasts are organized. "The editors are constantly getting calls from some people in the Kremlin telling them to 'correct' the content of the news," he told RFE/RL.

A Chechen Court Ruled To Forgive $100 Million Of Citizens' Gas Debts. Gazprom Isn't Happy

A district court's ruling that Chechnya's $135 million gas debt should be written off because collecting it could lead to social unrest has left other Russian regions wondering why they shouldn't get the same deal, and has prompted the local Gazprom affiliate to fight back.

Greek Lawmakers To Vote On Macedonia Name Change

Greek lawmakers are expected to vote on a historic agreement to change the name of neighboring Macedonia and end a decades-old diplomatic dispute.

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