Opposition political activist and anticorruption campaigner Aleksei Navalny responded to a Kirov court’s verdict convicting him of embezzlement charges, likening it to "a telegram saying that [the authorities] believe that I, my team, and the people whose views I voice, are too dangerous to be allowed to take part in the election campaign."
Russia-backed separatists say one of their commanders in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine has been assassinated. Mikhail Tolstykh was better known by his nom de guerre, Givi.
In Belarus around 60,000 people have signed a petition against what is called the "parasite tax." It is levied on some people who have worked less than 183 days in a year.
Several respondents to a street poll in Moscow said the U.S. is Russia’s main enemy, with one commenting that the media pushes this notion on the public. One said Ukraine is the main enemy, while others said Russia has no enemies, that it has “competitors” but not adversaries, that “everyone loves us,” and that people have no enemies - it’s governments that create problems. (Russian Service)
A Russian Foreign Ministry official says Moscow views Romania as a NATO outpost and a "clear threat" because it hosts part of a U.S. missile shield in Europe.
Kremlin critic Vladimir Kara-Murza, Jr., who has been hospitalized in critical condition in what his family and friends suspect was a deliberate poisoning, has awoken from a coma and improved noticeably.
A date has been set for the high-profile trial of RFE/RL contributor Mykola Semena, who has been charged with separatism by Crimea’s Russia-backed prosecutor and faces a five-year prison sentence.
A group of U.S. senators has introduced legislation that would hamstring any effort by President Donald Trump's administration to lift sanctions imposed on Russia for its actions in Ukraine.
Russian Central Bank head Elvira Nabiullina on February 8 informed Russian media of an initiative to share confidential banking information with law enforcement agencies to aid in the investigation of asset withdrawals, adding that she would seek to change the country’s banking laws accordingly. (in Russian, Current Time TV)
Amnesty International says a new law that decriminalizes some forms of domestic violence in Russia poses a greater risk to women.
Ukrainian officials say Belarusian journalist Pavel Sheremet was killed because of his professional activities in a contract killing.
Speaker of the Ukrainian parliament Andriy Parubiy registered a bill on February 8 requiring that Ukrainian be spoken during all parliamentary sessions and hearings. Earlier in the day, he called on deputies from the Opposition Bloc to speak the national language or request translation. (Ukrainian Service)
President Ilham Aliyev has thanked Belarus President Alyaksandr Lukashenka for the extradition of a Russian blogger wanted in Azerbaijan.
Moldovan Prime Minister Pavel Filip has urged the Foreign Ministry to accelerate the opening of a NATO liaison office in Chisinau after President Igor Dodon earlier called on alliance officials not to rush in establishing the office.
Macedonia angrily rejected a U.S. lawmaker's assertion that it "is not a country" and should be divided among Kosovo, Bulgaria, and possibly other neighbors.
A Ukrainian lawmaker has defaced a remnant of the Berlin Wall on the grounds of the German embassy in Kyiv in protest over Germany's position in peace negotiations, drawing a rebuke from Berlin.
In the wake of remarks made in January by President Shavkat Mirziyaev condemning billions of dollars of public debt for gas, electricity and utilities, Uzbek law enforcement agencies have begun cracking down on debtors by seizing their property. (in Russian, Uzbek Service)
In a wide-ranging report released on February 7, Human Rights Watch referred to Turkmenistan as “one of the most repressive and closed countries in the world,” and called into question the possibility that elections on February 12 would be free and fair. (in Russian, Turkmen Service)
Prominent military journalist Sergei Loiko, who spent four days in the Donetsk airport amidst heavy fighting in 2014, commented on the role of notorious separatist field commander Mikhail “Givi” Tolstykh, who was killed in Donetsk this week, telling RFE/RL that Givi, Motorola and other commanders “were needed by the Kremlin to give the public the impression that there is a “people's war” in Eastern Ukraine, whereas in fact, the fighting was conducted by professional colonels and privates of the Russian army.” (over 75k views on Russian Service website)