The data points are there: Expecting less pushback from the West, Moscow is signalling to its neighbors that their sovereignty is conditional.
The first flight in 25 years between Tajikistan and neighboring Uzbekistan departed from Dushanbe.
Kyrgyzstan state television has launched a reality game show in which aspiring daughters-in-law must impress a would-be mother-in-law.
Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, the authoritarian president of gas-rich Turkmenistan, has secured a third term in office by winning 97.69 percent of the vote in the February 12 election, according to the Central Election Commission.
More than 70,000 people in the Romanian capital of Bucharest kept up the pressure on the government late on February 12, creating a human tricolor flag as they called the country's leaders "thieves" and chanted "down with corruption."
Popular Ukrainian writer Serhiy Zhadan says he was seized by Belarusian security agents in the middle of the night while visiting Minsk and ordered to leave the country.
The top 2016 World Press Photo Award was won by Associated Press photographer Burhan Ozbilidzhi for his photo of the shooter who gunned down Russia’s ambassador to Turkey in Ankara on December 19, 2016. (in Russian, Current Time TV)
Prominent Russian writer Zakhar Prilepin, a founder of the modern genre known as “military prose,” has told the Russian TV channel Rain (Dozhd) that since October 2016 he has been serving as a deputy director and political adviser to a separatist battalion in the self-declared “Donetsk People’s Republic” in eastern Ukraine. (in Russian, Current Time TV)
The St. Petersburg branch of the Bellona environmental NGO has detected radiation measuring more than 1,000 times background levels among decaying World War II bunkers in Russia’s Karelia region.
Russian oligarch and head of the tiny Monarchy party Anton Bakov told RFE/RL he is engaged in discussions with the leadership of the Pacific microstate Kiribati to establish an independent Romanov polity on three uninhabited islands. Bakov is critical of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who “cannot be a Tsar by birth” and “allows himself to be led by public opinion,” and would install Nicholas III, Prince Karl-Emich of Leiningen, who is a direct descendant of the Romanov dynasty, to lead the new state. (Russian Service)
The acting chief editor of an independent Kazakh newspaper has been arrested on money-laundering charges.
A specially selected commission will begin a review of judges nominated to head a new, unified Ukrainian Supreme Court this month, but RFE/RL’s investigative program Schemes reports that the assets and judicial records of several candidates raise questions. (Ukrainian Service)
Over the past two months, Chechnya has entered a new phase of instability that differs in several key regards from the sporadic low-level insurgency of the past 16 years.