Speaking to Current Time in Kyiv on January 29, Ukraine's former Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said Kyiv should remain a priority for the United States but not become part of domestic American politics.
Eight individuals and a privately owned railroad company face asset freezes imposed by the United States, the European Union, and Canada in response to Moscow's "continued aggression toward Ukraine and attempted occupation of Crimea," a news release says.
Two brothers who killed their next-door neighbor in the town of Cherykau were sentenced to death this month by a Belarusian court. The country is the last in Europe to impose the death penalty.
Commenting on his conviction, Semena said, “The hardest thing…was to accept the fact...that it was not a judicial court, but a court that was shaped by orders from above,” and that while the international rights community understood that his case violated international law, “the judicial machinery just kept moving on. The whole process crossed about four years out of my life.”
When the fast-food chain first opened in Russia on January 31, 1990, it was hailed as a sign of thawing Cold War relations and crowds of Muscovites flocked to taste their first Big Mac.
In a statement issued following a January 31 meeting between Ukrainian top diplomat Vadym Prystayko and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Kyiv, Ukraine’s foreign ministry said that "Michael Pompeo assured that Ukraine has the full support of the United States in stopping Russia's aggression and restoring Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity in full."
Five former Moscow police officers have been charged with abuse of service duties, falsification of evidence, and illegal handling of drugs in an attempt to frame Russian investigative journalist Ivan Golunov on drug-related offenses last year.
Russian YouTube and Instagram stars were recently tempted with sizeable financial rewards to use their platforms to praise constitutional amendments proposed by Russian President Vladimir Putin. On January 28, it emerged that the offers were part of a stunt staged by fellow blogger Aleksandr Kharchevnikov, a 20-year-old prankster with a YouTube following nearing half a million subscribers.
Rusian media is reporting the first two cases of the coronavirus in Tyumen and Transbaikal regions. Officials say those infected are Chinese citizens, but have given no further details. Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin earlier announced that Russia has closed its border with China, the fifth-longest land border in the world. (Russian Service)
McDonald’s in Russia is canceling its 30th anniversary promotional plan to offer its iconic Big Mac sandwiches at the Soviet-era price of 3 rubles ($0.05) on January 31 over public health concerns related to the spread of the Coronavirus.
Russia plans to allocate an additional 4.13 trillion rubles ($66.7 billion) as part of a nationwide effort to address its dwindling population amid bleak long-term demographic trends.
Police in Ukraine suspect that arson caused the fire on January 29 that destroyed the car of RFE/RL Lviv correspondent Halyna Tereshchuk. An official with the interior ministry said, “We think it's a commissioned crime that someone hired someone to do."
The Committee to Protect Journalists has urged Russia to immediately lift a ban imposed on Ukrainian journalist Taras Ibrahimov and allow him to freely report in Ukraine’s Russia-occupied region of Crimea.
Romania’s main opposition Social Democratic Party filed a motion of no-confidence on January 30 against the minority center-right government of Prime Minister Ludovic Orban. The move was initiated in part to stop the introduction of a new electoral system months before local elections.
During his first visit to Kosovo on January 30, the European Union's chief diplomat, Josep Borrell, emphasized the need for bilateral dialogue to resume between Serbia and Kosovo. Talks broke down in November 2018 when Pristina imposed a 100-percent tax on Serbian goods over Belgrade’s refusal to recognize Kosovo’s independence.
Two U.S. senators have expressed concerns in a letter to Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia over recent events that indicate "a backsliding" on the country's commitment to democracy, the second such letter to Tbilisi in just over a week.
A hearing has resumed into a libel lawsuit filed against RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service, its correspondent Ali Toktakunov, and the news site Kloop, by former customs service official Raimbek Matraimov and his relatives, who are at the center of an alleged $700 million corruption scheme exposed by the media outlets. Reporters Without Borders has stated that the investigation serves the public interest, and has called the lawsuit “absurd.”
RFE/RL’s Tajik Service has reported that popular, independent Tajik journalist Daler Sharifov has been arrested on suspicion of "inciting ethnic, racial, and religious discord."
A recent Levada Center poll finds that 33% of Russian respondents want President Vladimir Putin to withdraw from public life after 2024. Center director Lev Gudkov said the high figure is surprising, while adding that “increasing fatigue is visible.” He compared the situation to the “pre-protest mood that prevailed in 2010-2011.” (Russian Service)
PRESSROOM: RFE/RL President Calls Russian ‘Foreign Agent’ Law A ‘Dangerous’ Effort To Persecute Independent Journalists
In an interview in Moscow with the broadcaster Ekho Moskvy, RFE/RL President Jamie Fly rejected the Kremlin’s claim that its new “Foreign Agent” restrictions “mirror” those relating to Russian media in the U.S., pointing out that "Americans have no problem accessing RT and Sputnik in the U.S.,” whereas RFE/RL is “not available on TV and radio waves" in Russia.
PRESSROOM: Russian Authorities Release Crimea Journalist, But Continue To Block Information About The Region