Recent threats by Ramzan Kadyrov and the memory of similar “pranks” targeting slain politician Boris Nemtsov suggest that the “cake assault” on former prime minister and opposition leader Mikhail Kasyanov was more than mere “hooliganism.”
[In Ukrainian] A civilian minibus exploded near the Mariinka checkpoint in eastern Ukraine after hitting a mine, killing three people and injuring one. (Ukrainian Service)
The Human Rights Center has appealed to the government to preserve the places of worship belonging to minority groups in the country's south, where a Muslim community and a tiny Jewish minority live.
[In Russian] Party delegates invoked Karl Marx and denounced the “debauchery” of foreign films in their appeals to comrades to fight the spread of western values among Kazakh youth. (Kazakh Service)
Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said Russia was ready to discuss "the modalities" of a truce at talks in Munich on February 11, while Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed reports that Russia was ready to propose a cease-fire in Syria starting on March 1.
The agreement follows a February 10 warning by the International Monetary Fund that a $17.5 billion bailout is at risk. A statement on Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s website noted the necessity of “rebooting the government without snap elections” to keep reforms on track.
A new Human Rights Watch report documents the destruction of hundreds of schools during the war in eastern Ukraine, including many that were used for military purposes by both sides in the conflict.
Experts say that current economic conditions, including an unattractive bond market and strict regulations on investment, make it extremely unlikely that Russia will realize its goal of earning one trillion rubles from privatization in 2016. (In Russian)
Explaining the potency of the Kremlin’s information campaign, the Levada Center’s director Lev Gudkov said that disorientation plays an important role, and is particularly effective amidst conditions of social anxiety and crisis. (In Russian)
Despite promises of reform, Ukrainian servicemen continue to complain about unacceptable living conditions, poor nutrition, and delayed wages. (In Ukrainian)
The ban, which took effect on February 8, is an apparent effort to boost the population of the breakaway Georgian republic.
Inspired by reports that Leonardo Di Caprio might play Vladimir Putin in a movie, readers of RFE/RL’s Belarus Service proposed Kevin Costner, Christian Bale, and Leslie Phillips as top picks to play Belarus’s president in a companion film. (In Belarusian)