‘Authoritarian Modernization’? ‘Generational Overhaul’? Azerbaijani Vote Grants President Majority Needed For Power Shift
Sunday’s snap elections in Azerbaijan have delivered the votes necessary to allow President Ilham Aliyev to remove elites associated with his father and consolidate power.
Zelenskiy Asks Pope For Help In Releasing POWs In Eastern Ukraine
Ukraine's president has asked Pope Francis for help in securing the release of prisoners of war held by Russia and by Russia-backed separatist fighters in eastern Ukraine.
Life In No-Man's-Land Between Ukraine And Belarus
Three Ukrainian villages lie beyond their country's last border post on the road to Belarus, complicating life for the inhabitants, who must pass through border checks to enter their own country.
Memories Of Pripyat: A Chernobyl Engineer Revisits A Ghost Town
Fifty years ago, the Soviet Union inaugurated the town of Pripyat, built to house workers of the Chernobyl power plant. One nuclear engineer, Oleksiy Breus, told RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service about his memories of Pripyat -- and of the historic disaster that he witnessed.
Russia’s Lavrov Meets With Venezuelan President Amid U.S. Sanctions Warning
Russia's foreign minister is visiting Venezuela in a show of support for Nicolas Maduro, as Moscow tries to bolster the South American country's president amid a collapsing economy and the threat of more U.S. sanctions.
More Than 200 Jehovah’s Witnesses Included On Russia’s Extremist List
Russian Federal Financial Monitoring Service has included more than 200 followers of the Jehovah's Witnesses religious movement in the list of organizations and individuals involved in extremist activities or terrorism. Most people on the list have already been convicted for “organization or participation in the activities of an extremist organization,” or are under investigation without a court decision. (in Russian, Current Time TV)
Russia’s Defense Ministry To Purchase $4.7 Million Worth Of Items For Religious Cathedral
Russia’s defense ministry will reportedly spend $4.69 million on the purchase of “religious items” and plaster ornaments for a newly constructed temple dedicated to the armed forces, a sum that far exceeds the $391,196 originally allocated. The contracts appear to be single-sourced to an undisclosed supplier. (in Russian, Current Time TV)
Moscow Police Detain Demonstrators Seeking To Evade Facial Recognition
Police in the Russian capital have detained a group of activists protesting expanded government surveillance on February 9 after the demonstrators gathered outside the presidential administration with their faces demonstratively painted to evade facial-recognition tools.
Belarus To Buy Russian Oil At 'Global Market' Prices
Belarusian First Deputy Prime Minister Dzmitry Krutoy has been quoted as saying Minsk will pay "global market" prices for oil from Russia this year.
Two Ukrainians Held In Bosnia Over $1.5 Million ATM Scam
Two of three Ukrainian men suspected of stealing the equivalent of $1.51 million from automated-teller machines operated by a Russian state-owned bank in Bosnia-Herzegovina have been placed in pretrial detention.
Kyiv Names Willow Tree After Soviet Rock Legend Viktor Tsoi
Kyiv City Council has granted a decades-old willow tree the status of a botanical monument in honor of Soviet rock legend Viktor Tsoi in the same neighborhood where he was filmed in a 1986 movie shot in Ukraine's capital.
Hungarian Foreign Minister Visits Kyiv In Effort To Mend Relations
Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said during a February 7 visit to Kyiv that his country would like to improve relations with Ukraine amid a dispute over a controversial language law.
Prague To Rename Square Near Russian Embassy After Nemtsov
Prague is expected to rename a square where the Russian Embassy is located after slain Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov. Pod Kastany Square could be officially renamed on February 27, the fifth anniversary of Nemtsov's killing.
Armenia To Hold Referendum On Constitutional Court
Armenia is set to hold a referendum on constitutional changes in April, in an attempt by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian to remove a majority of judges on the country’s Constitutional Court. According to proposals, seven of nine judges would be replaced by new judges confirmed by the National Assembly in which Pashinian’s My Step bloc holds a majority.
Kazakhs Return From Kyrgyzstan After Weekend's Ethnic Violence
More than 1,000 Kazakh nationals who fled to Kyrgyzstan following reports of interethnic clashes have crossed the border to return home. The clashes, between Kazakhs and Dungans, a Muslim group of Chinese origin, erupted on February 8 in some of the worst ethnic violence in years in Kazakhstan’s southern Zhambyl region. Ten people have been confirmed dead.
Tajikistan Moves To Reduce Mandatory Military Service
Tajikistan is aiming to cut the term of mandatory military service from two years to 18 months, according to the country's justice minister. He said one of the goals of the reform is to put an end to mass raids conducted by law enforcement agencies to try to locate young men seeking to avoid serving.
Turkmen Leader Appoints Son To Head Ministry, Sparking Succession Speculation
Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov has appointed his son Serdar to head the country’s Ministry of Industry and Construction, a promotion that comes less than a year after Serdar Berdymukhammedov, 38, assumed the post of a provincial governor.
COMMENTARY: Fossil Fuel Giants Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan Slowly Going Green
MAJLIS PODCAST: The United States Unveils Its Strategy For Central Asia
OBITUARY: Remembering the Azerbaijani Service’s Mirza Khazar