Elderly survivors, politicians, and religious leaders have gathered at the former Auschwitz extermination camp as part of commemorations around the world to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day amid an upturn in hate crimes and nationalist politics.
The Russian Army held a parade to mark the 75th anniversary of the lifting of the Siege of Leningrad, today’s St. Petersburg. The 872-day blockade of the city by Nazi Germany ended on January 27, 1944, after claiming hundreds of thousands of lives.
Residents in the Russian town of Sibay say they are suffering respiratory problems from clouds of sulfur dioxide that are billowing from an old copper quarry.
Forty-six year old Dennis Christensen faces 6 ½ years in prison for being a Jehovah’s Witness, a U.S. based Christian denomination that Russia has labeled an extremist organization.
Thousands of Serbs joined antigovernment rallies in Belgrade on January 26. Protesters marched to the headquarters of the daily Politika and the public radio and television broadcaster RTS and affixed the word "Censored" on their entrance doors to protest what they believe is unbalanced reporting in favor of President Aleksandar Vucic.
The U.S. Treasury Department has lifted sanctions imposed on three companies linked to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, stating that the firms have “reduced Oleg Deripaska’s direct and indirect shareholding stake...and severed his control."
The Kremlin has sought to cast doubt on a report that it has sent as many as 400 private military contractors to Venezuela to help embattled socialist President Nicolas Maduro strengthen security amid opposition protests and a competing claim to leadership by opposition head Juan Guaido.
U.S. and Canadian fighter jets were scrambled to escort two Russian nuclear-capable Tu-160 Blackjack bombers away from the North American coastline in the Arctic region on January 25, military officials say.
Multiple bomb threats have prompted the evacuation of thousands of people from administrative buildings, hospitals, and schools in the regions of Kemerovo, Khakasia, Omsk, Novosibirsk, Irkutsk, Altai Krai, and Krasnoyarsk Krai in Siberia.
A self-described "transparency collective" has released a massive trove of hacked e-mails and leaked documents from what it describes as "Russian politicians, journalists, oligarchs, [and] religious, and social figures." The materials were published online on January 25 by a group calling itself Distributed Denial of Secrets (DDOS), which says it is "aimed at enabling the free transmission of data in the public interest."
Moscow ambulance workers have reportedly received unofficial orders to lower the number of patients admitted to city hospitals. One told RFE/RL that EMTs are forced to falsify statistics or decline hospitalizing patients.The head of a medical union said EMTs are ordered to describe the need for hospitalization in such a way that patients will decline it. (in Russian, Current Time TV)
Ukrainians say the biggest problem facing their country ahead of a crucial presidential election in March is the same one that ushered in the current head of state in the first place: war. The Minsk accords that sought to end the hot phase of conflict with Russia-backed separatists in the east have largely failed, much to the dismay of most of Ukraine's 44 million citizens.
Svyatoslav Vakarchuk, the famed leader of the Ukrainian rock band Okean Elzy, has announced he will not run in the country’s March 2019 presidential election, saying that he can do more for the country “wearing jeans” instead of a tie. (Russian Service)
Across the Balkans, scandals involving fake degrees, politicians with dubious diplomas, and questions about plagiarized doctoral theses have put the spotlight on a lack of reforms in the education system and institutional corruption as countries struggle to rebuild following years of conflict that accompanied the breakup of Yugoslavia.
Kazakhstan has just launched operation of the largest solar power station in Central Asia, in the central Karaganda Province, the heart of coal country. The 307,664 photovoltaic panels cover an area of more than 160 hectares and have the capacity to generate some 100 megawatts (MW) of power, providing some 145 million kilowatt hours annually.
Few outside Tajikistan's firmly entrenched political elite would ever dream of running against powerful incumbent Emomali Rahmon. But Quvvatali Murodov, a retired doctor with ambitions to challenge Rahmon in 2020, has been questioned after he said he wanted to "end the politics of fear" and suggested that authorities drop restrictions that make it difficult to run for the country’s highest office.