The Daily Vertical: It's Weird. It's Creepy. It's Sick.
A series of animated clips making the rounds on the Internet depicting Russian President Vladimir Putin using various means to execute Kremlin officials suggests that Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov hasn’t gone rogue, but instead may reflect the norm.
Ukraine Soldiers Demand Investigation Into Battlefield Losses
Volunteer soldiers who fought at Ilovaisk gathered in front of Ukraine’s presidential offices for the second time to demand an investigation into the battle, whose huge losses for Ukraine gave impetus to the Minsk talks. (Ukrainian Service)
Rostov Citizens Rally For The Ruble
With signs like “The ruble didn't fall - It just laid down to get some rest,” residents of Rostov-on-Don suggested the Kremlin seek economic advice, and offered their own ideas for saving the national currency, including withdrawal from fighting abroad. (Current Time TV)
Russian Grand Master Promotes Chess In Serbia
Former world chess champion and UNICEF goodwill ambassador Anatoly Karpov played 20 matches simultaneously in the southeastern Serbian village of Merosina. (RFE/RL’s Balkan Service)
Kazakhstan Goes All North Korea
RFE/RL’s Kazakh Service assembled this sampling of tributes paid to President Nursultan Nazarbaev at last week’s congress of the country’s ruling party.
U.S. Sanctions Five More On ‘Magnitsky List’
Aleksei Anichin, a deputy interior minister linked to lawyer Sergei Magnitsky’s death in prison in 2009, is among the new names that bring to 39 the number of Russian officials publicly sanctioned for human rights abuses under the congressional legislation.
Kremlin Considering “Google Tax” On Technology Services
Characterizing the proposal, which reflects a push to ensure equal conditions for technology companies operating in Russia, the Kremlin’s Internet adviser said,”I'd like to know how much Google earns on the territory of Russia and to add 18 percent to it."
Ukrainian Deputies Advance Justice System Reforms
Constitutional amendments adopted by Ukraine’s parliament on February 2 confer authority upon the reformed Higher Judicial Council, rather than the parliament or the president, to preside over the appointment and dismissal of judges. (In Ukrainian)
Russian Court To Review European Court Ruling
In a move that appears to challenge the authority of the European Court of Human Rights, Russia’s constitutional court will review the ECHR’s ruling in the case of “Anchugov and Gladkov vs. Russia” that persons in pre-trial detention have the right to vote. (Current Time TV)
Russian Rights Defenders Demand Response To Kadyrov Video
Novaya Gazeta journalist Elena Milashina says that Russian President Vladimir Putin will be reluctant “to straighten out” the Chechen leader for fear of appearing sympathetic to the opposition, but political calculations may force him to. (In Russian)
In an extensive interview, prominent Russian politician and economist Andrey Nechaev tells RFE/RL that most Russians fail to understand that western economic sanctions and the closure of capital markets are the result of Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the war in Ukraine. (In Russian)
French Documentary On Maidan Protests Under Fire
The Ukrainian Embassy in Paris has called “dishonest” and “disrespectful” a film by Paul Moreira according to which it was right-wing extremists who ousted Viktor Yanukovych during the 2013-14 Euromaidan demonstrations, with the West turning a blind eye to the extremists’ crimes.