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VISUAL REPORTS

Russian Trial Called 'A Litmus Test For Religious Freedom'

A Russian prosecutor has asked a court to sentence a Danish man to 6 1/2 years in prison for being a member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the U.S.-based Christian denomination. Forty-six-year-old Dennis Christensen was detained in May 2017.

Kazakhstan Shocked By Brutal School Bullying Video

A debate about the prevalence of bullying in Kazakhstan's schools has been ignited by a video that showed students being viciously attacked in the city of Turkestan.

Siberian Valenki Maker Fills Dead Men's Shoes

Ivan Plakhuta lives in the Siberian region of Krasnoyarsk and makes traditional felt boots or valenki. He says many of the old makers, from whom he learned his craft, have died, but says demand for his boots remains strong.

OTHER NEWS

Russia’s Ties To Venezuela Give It ‘Nuisance Power’ Over The U.S.

As the political standoff in Venezuela escalates, Moscow has become increasingly ardent in its support for embattled socialist President Nicolas Maduro. Moscow considers Caracas a "strategic partner" and has some $20 billion in loans and investments in the country. Mikael Wigell, a senior research fellow specializing in Latin America at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs, outlines what is at stake for Moscow in the unfolding crisis.

U.S. Official Accuses Russia Of Stonewalling On Missile Treaty Demands

Russia is unlikely to meet U.S. demands for more verification on a missile system Washington says has violated a key Cold War treaty, the lead U.S. negotiator on arms control issues said. Undersecretary of State Andrea Thompson downplayed last week’s bilateral meetings in Geneva, saying “we didn’t break any new ground.”

Sweden Says Russian Military Planes Briefly Violated Airspace

The Swedish military has disclosed that a Russian llyushin Il-20 reconnaissance plane and two Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker fighter jets briefly violated Sweden's air space on the country's Baltic Sea coast on January 19.

Duma Passes Bills On ‘Fake News’ And Insulting Authorities

Bills prohibiting the spread of fake news online and imposing jail terms on persons who insult authorities have passed the first of three readings, marking new efforts the opposition says are aimed at curbing dissent.

Lawmakers Propose Broad-Scope Bill Requiring Registration Of Internet Devices

Several Russian lawmakers have introduced a bill requiring IMEI registration of all devices with Internet access, effective February 1, 2020. The bill would affect mobile phones, laptops, smartphones and even utility meters. (in Russian, Current Time TV)

Russian Duma Calls In Google Representative To Protest Crimea Map

Russian Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin has summoned a Google representative to meet with the chamber’s defense committee to “convey” to him the unacceptability of designating Crimea a territory belonging to Ukraine. Volodin underscored the importance of the meeting to prevent “[Google] from cutting something from us and assigning it to another country.” (in Russian, Current Time TV)

School Under Investigation After ‘Thugs’ Reportedly Lectured Kids On Homosexuality

A school in the Russian Far East is being investigated after parents alleged that local thugs were invited to lecture on the dangers of homosexuality and life in the criminal underworld to a hall full of teenage boys.

Ukrainian Presidential Candidate Zelenskyy To Step Down From Russian Film Company

Ukrainian presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelenskyy has announced he is resigning from the Cyprus-registered company Green Family Ltd, which owns three Russian film and TV production companies, as reported by RFE/RL’s investigative program Schemes. Zelenskyy had claimed that he closed his businesses in Russia in 2014. (Ukrainian Service)

Russia, Romania And Ukraine Top List Of Complaints To ECHR

The European Court of Human Rights has ranked Russia first among countries filing complaints with the court, accounting for almost 21% of 43,000 complaints received in 2018. Romania is ranked second, registering over 15% of all complaints, and Ukraine is third with almost 13%. Russia says the record number of cases it has filed is due to its large population. (Russian service)

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

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