Nazi occupation and Soviet repression decimated the Izhorian people, a tiny ethnic minority from northwest Russia. Now just hundreds remain, but efforts are being made to revive their language and culture.
A Tajik guest worker in Russia spends most of his time there so he can send money back to Dushanbe, where he has two wives and seven children.
A Kyrgyz wildlife center is nursing a snow leopard named Zhaabars back to health after he was badly wounded by a shotgun. Despite conservationists' efforts, the rare cats are sometimes targeted by poachers and farmers protecting their herds.
Every respondent to an informal street poll in Donetsk claims to still have his or her Ukrainian passport, which is recognized by the Russia-backed separatists who control the region. Few have passports of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic, complaining they have to stand in long queues to get them. Almost 200,000 residents of separatist-controlled Donbas, which comprises Donetsk and Luhansk, have received Russian passports since 2014. (Ukrainian Service/Donbas Realities)
Russia says it has received the genome of the coronavirus from China and is working jointly with its neighbor to develop a vaccine against the illness as the number of deaths and confirmed cases continues to climb.
Speaking at the European Gas Conference in Vienna on January 28, Gazprom deputy head Yelena Burmistrova reportedly told attendees the company will complete the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project under the Baltic Sea without the help of foreign companies. She said the project, which is already 94 percent complete, will be finished by the Russian side."
The European Union has added seven names to its list of people facing sanctions for undermining Ukraine’s territorial integrity and independence. The sanctions list, established after Russia seized control of Ukraine's Crimea region in March 2014, currently consists of 177 individuals and 44 entities.
Josep Borrell, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, announced at a news conference in Brussels that he wants to visit the front line in eastern Ukraine. The trip would take place during his first visit to Ukraine as the EU’s top diplomat.
The conspicuous lack of any concerted public campaign against constitutional changes announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin may shed light on long-standing divisions in the ranks of Russia's opposition. But it also suggests that many are loath to encourage street protests and risk a fierce police reaction, or a very public defeat if turnout is low.
Five former Moscow police officers have been detained in the fabricated drug-trafficking case against Russian investigative journalist Ivan Golunov, who was arrested and then released amid a public outcry and allegations of police corruption in June last year.
The UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission has reminded Russia that its use of the military draft in annexed Crimea is unlawful, following disclosures that Russia’s judiciary opened 25 cases relating to draft evasion in 2019, and issued fines to those accused. The OSCE says Russia has drafted 5,600 Crimeans for military service. (Ukrainian Service/Crimea Realities)
A former deputy energy and coal minister in the administration of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was placed in pretrial detention for 45 days on suspicion of causing 2 billion hryvnyas ($40 million) in damages to the state. Ukrainian media have identified him as Ihor Kiryushyn, who served as deputy energy and coal minister in 2009-2011.
Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov's center-right government has survived a vote of no-confidence called by the opposition over water shortages that have already cost Environment Minister Neno Dimov his job. The vote, with 102 lawmakers in favor and 124 against, was the fourth such attempt to defeat the government since it took power in 2017.
Kyrgyz Ombudsman Tokon Mamytov has called on lawmakers to postpone debate and allow broader, public discussion of a bill about nongovernmental organizations that has been criticized by rights activists.
Daler Sharifov, a Tajik journalist who is popular for his critical and analytical posts on social media, disappeared on January 28. Police had reportedly searched his apartment earlier and confiscated his computer and books printed in Arabic. His relatives believe Sharifov was taken in for questioning by Tajik state security agents in Dushanbe’s Shohmansur district. (in Russian, Current Time TV)