RFE/RL Journalist’s Car Set Ablaze In Ukraine
An unknown assailant set fire to a car belonging to an RFE/RL reporter in Lviv, Ukraine on January 30 in what police are calling an arson attack.
Police Disperse Demonstrators Protesting Constitutional Reform in St. Petersburg
At least eight people demonstrating against proposed constitutional changes in Russia were detained in St. Petersburg on February 1. Police in riot gear targeted a few dozen activists whom they deemed to be violating public order.
Pompeo Tells Belarus Not To Take Sides Between Russia And U.S.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called for "real progress" in bilateral relations with Belarus following a meeting in Minsk with Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka on February 1. Lukashenka praised Pompeo for coming to Minsk “after various misunderstandings between Belarus and the U.S."
Belgrade Protests Proliferate
On February 1, a gathering of the Alliance for Serbia opposition coalition -- which has supported anti-government marches held in Belgrade every Saturday -- announced a boycott of the upcoming general elections. In the 61st march in a row against Serbia's public broadcaster, RTS, demonstrators accused it of pro-government bias.
U.S. Ambassador Slams Russia's Treatment Of Jailed Former U.S. Marine
The United States' new ambassador to Russia has urged Moscow to release Paul Whelan and accused the Russian authorities of "shameful treatment" of the former U.S. Marine, who is accused of spying.
Pompeo Recognizes Uzbekistan’s ‘Progress” On Final Stop Of Tour
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has kicked off the last day of his trip to Eastern Europe and Central Asia by reaffirming Washington's commitment to developing further bilateral ties with Uzbekistan.
Russia To Deport Foreigners Confirmed With Coronavirus
Russia says it plans to deport foreigners diagnosed with the new coronavirus, as Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin told a televised government meeting on February 3 that an annual investment forum later in the month in Sochi had been postponed. There have been two confirmed cases of the virus in Russia, both of which involved Chinese citizens.
Ukrainian President Says Compensation For Tehran Airline Calamity Not Enough
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has disclosed in televised remarks that Iran offered $80,000 per victim after it shot down a Ukrainian passenger jet in Tehran on January 8. Zelenskiy said Ukraine did not accept the offer because "it was too little," and “would push for more” compensation for families of the victims.
Former U.S. Envoy To Ukraine Yovanovitch Retires From State Department
Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, who played a key role in the U.S. House hearings on the impeachment of President Donald Trump last November, has retired from the State Department, according to U.S. media reports on January 31.
Ukraine Loses Two Women Soldiers In Bloody Weekend In Donbas
A female combat medic was killed on February 1 near the front-line town of Novotoshkivske in the Luhansk region, and Sergeant Klavdia Sytnyk, 33, came under fire while delivering medical supplies to a combat post and sustained fatal shrapnel wounds to her chest.
Poland Signs $4.6 Billion Contract For U.S. Fighter Jets
Poland signed a $4.6 billion deal with the United States on January 31 for the purchase of 32 of its advanced F-35 fighter jets to enhance air defense on NATO's eastern flank at a time of increased Russian military activity.
Bulgaria's Fugitive Gaming Czar Arrested In U.A.E.
Bulgarian gambling czar Vasil Bozhkov has been arrested in the United Arab Emirates on charges he is facing at home of tax fraud, attempted bribery, and organized crime. One of Bulgaria's richest men, the 63-year-old Bozhkov has dominated the country's gaming business since the early 1990s after the fall of communism.
Georgia Extends Lobbying Contract With Trump-Tied Firm Amid Congressional Frustration Over Democracy
The Georgian government has renewed a lobbying contract with a U.S. firm with ties to President Donald Trump amid growing Congressional concern over the country’s commitment to democracy. Chartwell Strategy Group, founded by David Tamasi -- who served as finance chair for the Trump Victory Fund -- will lobby the White House and Congress on behalf of Georgia, according to Foreign Agent Registration Act filings published by the Justice Department on January 31.
Kosovo Parties Sign Deal To Form New Government
Kosovo's leftist-nationalist Vetevendosje (Self-Determination) party and the center-right Democratic League of Kosovo have signed a deal to form a new government, nearly four months after the Balkan country held snap general elections.
In A First, Dushanbe Seeks Extradition Of IS Tajik Fighters
Four Islamic State (IS) extremists that Dushanbe is trying to extradite from Syria include Tajik militants linked to dozens of terrorist attacks and a notorious online propaganda campaign aimed at recruiting fighters to the IS.
Independent Tajik Journalist Detained On Extremism Charges
Tajikistan's state prosecutor has confirmed that independent journalist Daler Sharifov has been detained on charges of “extremism.” A court on January 30 had placed the 32-year-old journalist in pretrial detention for two months on suspicion of "inciting ethnic, racial, and religious discord."
Poverty-Stricken Turkmen Eating From Garbage Cans
Some residents of Turkmenistan's capital, Ashgabat, say they have resorted to digging through refuse to look for food and other items as a devastating economic crisis tightens its grip on the hermetic Central Asian country.
COMMENTARY: Tajik Claim Of Pipeline Progress Is Welcome News In Turkmenistan
MAJLIS PODCAST: Central Asia Warily Monitors Spread Of Coronavirus From Neighboring China