Nurse Sagilya Nigmatullina walks 48 kilometers a week so that she can tend to patients in the remote village of Pervomayka, in the Russian region of Chelyabinsk. She earns just $150 a month but says the walk is good for her and that she's never thought of quitting.
Much of the city center's walkways are being renewed, but the stone tiling has already become badly uneven in many areas. Residents and officials disagree on whether it's poor construction, poor materials, the weather, or corruption.
The 28th International Festival of Masquerade Games attracted a record 7,500 participants from across Europe to the Bulgarian city of Pernik. The traditional three-day event, which started on January 25, is believed to date back to pagan times.
Speaking to Russian state news agency Ria Novosti on January 30, embattled President of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro claimed that U.S. President Donald Trump had conveyed orders to the government of Columbia and the Colombian mafia to kill him. He refused to comment on reports that he is being protected by private Russian military companies. (in Russian, Current Time TV)
The European Union has called on social-media giants to intensify the fight against disinformation ahead of EU-wide elections this spring. The European Commission made the call in a report, released on January 29, on how well Internet actors were doing in meeting pledges made last year to tackle false news.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has announced he will seek reelection in the March presidential election, vowing to “ensure the irreversibility of the country's European and Euro-Atlantic integration,” pursue NATO membership, and bid to join the European Union in 2024.
Russia's Justice Ministry has proposed a bill decriminalizing bribery and other corrupt acts committed under "exceptional circumstances." The draft bill, published on the state website for legislation on January 29, was prepared following an anticorruption plan outlined by Russian President Vladimir Putin in June.
Under a new whistle-blower law signed by Kyrgyz President Sooronbai Jeenbekov on January 29, both police and citizens who report cases of official graft are to receive a portion of any financial damages recovered by the state.
An employee of the Anti-Corruption Foundation run by Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny has alleged that a member of the Russian secret services attempted to recruit her and issued threats when she refused to cooperate.
Russian lawmaker Rauf Arashukov was taken into custody during a session of Russia’s Federation Council on suspicion of involvement in two high-profile killings in the North Caucasus region of Karachai-Cherkessia. Lawmakers have agreed to strip him of his immunity from prosecution.
Russia this spring plans to launch a new state-owned TV channel called Pobeda, or “victory,” that will broadcast feature films and programs about World War II. Channel head Aleksei Efimov said the memory of the Great Patriotic War, as it is known in Russia, is one of the country’s great unifying forces, and will ensure the channel’s success. (in Russian, Current Time TV)
Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister on European Integration Anatoliy Petrenko told German foreign ministry officials on January 28 that Russia is steadily increasing its defense capabilities in the region. He reported that Moscow is deploying missile complexes on the border between Ukraine and Russia-annexed Crimea that pose a threat to the countries of Eastern Europe. (Ukrainian Service)
A female member of Georgia's parliament is vowing to fight back as another sex-tape scandal rocks the former Soviet republic just as it hoped to shed its chauvinist image following the election of the country's first female president.
In a letter to U.S. President Donald Trump released on January 29, President Hasim Thaci said he was ready to do what is necessary "to reach a comprehensive and balanced settlement that will encompass all outstanding issues, thereby ending the century-old conflict with Serbia, and bringing peace to the whole region."
Students and teachers of several universities in Turkmenistan have told RFE/RL’s Turkmen Service that they were required to sign documents stating they would not use mobile phones or the internet, attend weddings, or leave their hometowns during upcoming winter holidays. (In Russian, Turkmen Service)