President Vladimir Putin's government has long promoted increased state control over the Internet.
Speaking to RFE/RL's Radio Farda on February 13 on the sidelines of a major Middle East conference in Warsaw which Iranian officials have blasted as an "anti-Iran circus,” Rudy Giuliani, a personal lawyer of U.S. President Donald Trump, has said he favors the "overthrow" of Iran's theocratic regime.
Agents of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) have detained Crimean Tatar activists Rustem Emiruseinov, Eskender Abdulgieviev and Arsen Abkhairov, and searched their houses. Actions targeting Crimea’s independent journalists, civil society activists, Crimean Tatar national movement members, and Crimean Muslims suspected of links to Hizb ut-Tahrir, a religious organization banned in Russia, have increased dramatically since Russia annexed the peninsula in 2014. (Crimea Realities website)
A notorious slum in Azerbaijan's capital is being demolished, but some remaining residents are digging in, saying that government compensation won't buy them a new home.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has said the alliance is studying a "wide range of options" to deal with alleged Russian violations of a major arms-control agreement, adding that NATO's response "will be measured and it will be defensive because we don't want a new arms race." Speaking in Warsaw, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has accused Moscow of wanting to "dominate" Europe.
A bipartisan group of U.S. senators has introduced a bill that would impose drastic new sanctions on Russia over its meddling in U.S. elections and aggression against Ukraine.
A Washington judge has ordered the city medical examiner to turn over dozens of autopsy records and other files in the investigation of Mikhail Lesin, the former Russian press minister who was found dead in a D.C. hotel room under suspicious circumstances in 2015. The February 13 ruling came in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by RFE/RL, which has sought the files as part of its ongoing probe into Lesin's death.
A number of Russian Duma deputies have introduced legislation that would stipulate a 20-fold increase in fines for spreading false information and insulting state symbols on the internet. Maximum penalties for private citizens and officials could reach $1,494 and $2,988, respectively. Repeat violators could be fined from $1,494 to $4,482. (in Russian, Current Time TV)
Russia's Justice Ministry has said the For Human Rights group led by veteran rights activist Lev Ponomaryov had been added to the registry of “foreign agents” for the second time, as a result of an inspection launched in December into the group's activities.
Scientific researchers say Russian social-media trolls who spread discord before the 2016 U.S. presidential election may also have played an unintended role in a developing global health crisis by distributing medical misinformation and raising public doubts about vaccinations.
In a reported first for Russia, a court outside Moscow has allowed an HIV-positive woman to adopt a child.
Kyiv’s District Administrative Court has annulled a February 5 decision removing U.S.- born Ulyana Suprun from her position as Acting Minister of Health and reinstated her in office. Ukraine’s Radical Party had challenged Suprun’s eligibility for the ministerial post. (Ukrainian Service)
The United States has indicated it does not support Armenia's participation in a Russia-backed mission in war-ravaged Syria, where Yerevan has dispatched demining experts and other personnel to carry out "humanitarian activities."
Travelers are now being greeted with newly erected signs that say "Welcome To North Macedonia” as they cross the Balkan country's border with Greece. Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov tweeted on February 13, "We can't change our past, but we can and we will shape our future of friendship, partnership and cooperation."
Former Uzbek State Security Service chief Ikhtiyor Abdullayev has been ordered detained for one month after being arrested on February 11 on suspicion of abusing official authority and giving and receiving bribes. Between January 10 - February 11, nearly 100 state security employees have reportedly been detained. (in Russian, Uzbek Service)
A senior official in Tajikistan's Customs Service has confirmed that authorities have confiscated and burned 5,000 evangelical Christian calendars ordered by a Baptist church in the region, saying they contained "propaganda of an alien religion."
A court in Kazakhstan has found the leader of a group that defends the rights of ethnic Kazakhs in northwest China guilty of illegally leading an unregistered organization. Serikzhan Bilash said he will appeal the ruling and insisted that his group, Atazhurt Eriktileri (Volunteers of the Fatherland), will continue its advocacy work.