Ukrainian Orthodox Church Enthrones Epifaniy As Leader
The new Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) has installed its first metropolitan, Epifaniy, at a ceremony in Kyiv on February 3, in a process that further establishes the new church body's independence.
Another Antigovernment March In Belgrade
Serbian opposition supporters protested against the government for a ninth Saturday in a row on February 2. Protesters put stickers on the entrance doors to Serbia's public radio and television broadcaster, RTS, which they believe favors the government and ignores the opposition.
Fear And Loathing In Russia's Dying 'Las Vegas'
Viktoria Mityushkina worked for one of three casinos at Azov-City, which opened in 2010 under a Kremlin initiative to establish a handful of Las Vegas-style hubs for gambling while banning it everywhere else. But the whims of officials and powerful business interests upended profits, and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev ordered Azov-City liquidated by December 31, 2018.
Freezing For Fitness Under A Kyrgyz Waterfall
Friends Rysbek Jakypov and Nurbek Ismailov like to shower under an icy waterfall in Kyzyl-Bel, Kyrgyzstan, despite temperatures that register -20 degrees Celsius. They say the freezing mineral waters are good for stamina and that hot tea and horse meat help protect against the cold.
Putin Announces Russia’s Suspension Of INF Treaty
Declaring a “tit-for-tat response,” Russian President Vladimir Putin has said Russia has suspended its obligations under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, one day after the United States made a similar announcement.
Kremlin Accuses Europe Of 'Foreign Meddling' In Venezuela
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that "Attempts to legitimize usurped power" constituted "interference in Venezuela's internal affairs" after several major European nations coordinated on February 4 to recognize Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as interim president.
Putin, Erdogan, Rohani Set For Sochi Summit On Syria
The leaders of Russia, Iran, and Turkey are scheduled to meet in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi on February 14 to discuss the situation in Syria, according to Turkish and Russian state media. Russia’s NTV broadcaster said they will discuss the so-called deescalation zone around Idlib in Syria and the pending withdrawal of U.S. troops.
Preelection Dismissal At Ukraine's Public Broadcaster Sparks Outcry
The supervisory board of Ukraine's public broadcaster has fired Zurab Alasania, the channel’s director, without explanation in a closed-door decision just two months before a potentially divisive presidential election, raising fears of political interference in the electoral process.
83 Applicants File For Ukraine’s Presidential Election
Ukraine’s Central Election Commission said on February 4 that of the 83 applicants, it had approved 28, rejected 22, and reserved 33 for review. The final list of officially registered candidates for the March 31 election will be announced no later than February 9.
Thousands Participate In 'Russia Is Not A Dump' Protests
Thousands of people have taken to the streets across Russia to voice anger over the environmental consequences of poorly managed landfills and household waste disposal. The highest turnout of the February 3 rallies was said to be in Arkhangelsk, a northwestern region set to take in Moscow’s waste.
Heirs Of The Gulag? Russia's Prison System Faces Harsh Scrutiny
Russian authorities announced recently the dismissals of several high-level prison officials after a surprise inspection revealed female convicts were subject to torture and slave-labor conditions. The news came five years after Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Toloknnikova published an open letter claiming that women were forced to work up to 17 hours a day with one day off every eight weeks and suffered threats and violent abuse.
Russian Investigators Reopen Mysterious 1959 Dyatlov Pass Case
Russia’s Prosecutor-General's Office has reopened the investigation into the mysterious deaths of nine young hikers in the Ural Mountains some 60 years ago. Some 75 theories have been put forward, but prosecutors believe the most likely cause of the deaths was either an avalanche or a heavy storm.
Heading Home? Daghestani Relatives Hoping Russia Will Return Legendary Warrior’s Skull
The skull of the legendary Caucasian warrior Hadji Murad -- who was beheaded by Russian troops in the 19th century -- is one step closer to being returned to his relatives in Daghestan.
NATO To Sign Accession Pact With Macedonia
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has said the alliance will sign an accession protocol with Macedonia on February 6, an important milestone in the Balkan country's path to become NATO's 30th member state.
Macedonia Ex-Premier Gruevski Says He Fled To Hungary Over Death Threats
In his first interview since fleeing his country, former Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski said he fled to Hungary to avoid a two-year prison term at home because he had received a threat that he would be killed in confinement.
Hungary Holds Back On Vote On Belarus Arms Embargo
Hungary is once again threatening to poke a hole in the European Union’s long-standing arms embargo against Belarus.The embargo, which is usually rolled over once a year, needs the unanimity of the 28 EU member states to be renewed, but Budapest has for the last two years managed to exempt biathlon rifles and other arms used in sports.
Uzbek Former Prosecutor-General Taken To Hospital Ahead Of Trial
Former Prosecutor-General Rashitjon Qodirov has been admitted to a prison hospital while awaiting trial on charges of corruption and abuse of power. Qodirov served in the position for 16 years under Uzbekistan’s late President Islam Karimov. (in Russian, Uzbek Service)