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VISUAL REPORTS

Russian Water Carrier Quenches Villagers’ Thirst

Sergei Amelchenko braves snow, ice, and cold to bring clean drinking water to remote villages in Russia’s Krasnoyarsk region.

Hundreds Bid Farewell To Five Girls Killed In Astana Fire

Hundreds of people bade farewell on February 5 to five children from a single family killed in a house fire a day earlier in the Kazakh capital, Astana, with some expressing anger that neither members of parliament nor government officials attended the funerals.

Kyrgyz Farmers Boiling About Potato Glut

Farmers in Kyrgyzstan's Issyk-Kul have unsold potatoes up to the rafters after prices plunged. They say they planted more potatoes this year in the hope of exporting them to Uzbekistan, but the export deals never materialized.

OTHER NEWS

BREAKING: Ukraine Prosecutor-General Investigates Medvedchuk For Treason

Ukraine’s prosecutor-general has opened a criminal investigation into accusations of treason against Viktor Medvedchuk, a pro-Russian politician and Ukrainian special representative to the Minsk peace process. The case was launched following a request from Ukrainian MP Andriy Teteruk over statements made by Medvedchuk on January 29 calling for the creation of an “autonomous region of Donbas.” (Ukrainian Service)

Russia To Spend Billions On Infrastructure In Annexed Crimea

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has said that by 2022 Moscow plans to spend 310 billion rubles (approximately $4.7 billion) from the federal budget on development in Crimea, with half the amount to be transferred this year. He said funds would be spent on infrastructure, including roads, water, and electricity. (Russian Service)

Russian Constitutional Court Judge Warns Against Xenophobia And Isolation

Russian Constitutional Court judge Konstantin Aranovsky has raised eyebrows with an opinion on a case involving a law banning persons with dual citizenship from owning more than a 20% share in a media outlet. The court upheld the ban, but he dissented, calling such restrictions “unconstitutional” and opining that Russians have accepted their constitution as part of a world community, and that conflicts within the community should not justify xenophobia and restrictions on rights and freedoms. (Russian Service)

Navalny Ridicules Rumors He Met With 'Putin's Chef' In St. Petersburg

A popular Telegram channel Nezygar published photos it claimed were proof that opposition leader Alexei Navalny has met with Yevgeny Prigozhin, a controversial Russian businessman and Putin ally popularly known as “Putin’s Chef.” Navalny called the rumors “black PR.” Prigozhin's press service has confirmed a meeting with Navalny took place.

Belarus Police Bust Massive Marijuana Operation

Authorities in Belarus say they have uncovered "the largest marijuana production [operation] in years," in a 200 square-meter facility in the country’s eastern Vitebsk region.

Nazarbaev Dismisses Speculation About Early Presidential Election

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev has said there are no immediate plans to push forward the date of the country's next presidential election, which is scheduled for 2020. In a February 5 statement, he had requested an official interpretation of Article 42, Section 3 of the country's constitution, which addresses the termination of the president's duties.

Bishkek Hasn’t Asked, But Moscow Open To Discussing Second Military Facility In Kyrgyzstan

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told students during a visit to Bishkek on February 4 that Moscow is open to the idea of having a second military base in Kyrgyzstan, lending fuel to rumors that have been circulating in Kyrgyzstan and Russia for months.

Turkmen Airlines Banned From Flying To The EU

The European Aviation Safety Agency has announced a ban on flights by the Turkmen state airline Türkmenhowayollary to EU countries, including transit flights over EU territory. The statement says the airline must comply with international safety standards, but provides no explanation. (in Russian, Turkmen Service/Current Time TV)

Fugitive Tajik Colonel's Associate Reportedly Detained In Syria

Kurdish fighters in northern Syria have reportedly detained a close associate of Gulmurod Halimov, a former commander of Tajikistan’s Interior Ministry special forces who joined the Islamic State in 2015 and is one of the extremist group’s most notable international recruits.

Freedom House: Global Democracy 'In Retreat' For 13th Year

The Washington-based rights group Freedom House has warned that "challenges to democracy" in the United States are "threatening to undermine political rights and civil liberties" around the world.

ELSEWHERE: Former U.S. Envoy Sees Long Road Ahead For Afghan Peace Talks

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