The Ukrainian Defense Ministry says one of its soldiers was killed and four were wounded in the latest clashes with Russia-backed separatists in Ukraine’s eastern Luhansk region. (Russian Service)
Plans for a new highway in Russia's capital have led to protests. Locals say the project cuts straight through an industrial site contaminated with radioactive waste. A state-owned company has blamed high radioactive readings in the area on faulty equipment.
The Russian government hopes assisted in vitro fertilization (IVF) can help boost the country's falling population. The procedure is covered by Russians' state health insurance and, since last year, the state will now reimburse patients for IVF undergone at private clinics to cut waiting times.
An iconic monument in Serbia’s capital, Belgrade, has been returned to its familiar place in a city park after months of restoration work. The Victor monument, known as Pobednik in Serbian, was lifted on February 14 onto its pedestal overlooking the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers.
Residents of a southern Uzbek village scuffled with local officials who planned to demolish homes that were allegedly built without proper permission. Uzbek authorities say there are thousands of cases of illegal building enabled by corrupt former officials.
According to the latest poll, 49 percent of Ukrainians and 42 percent of Russians say they have a very or mostly good opinion about the other country.
A Dutch appeals court has reinstated an international arbitration panel’s ruling that Russia must pay $50 billion in compensation to shareholders in the former Russian oil giant Yukos -- a ruling which Moscow said it will appeal. The February 18 decision overturned a 2016 ruling by a Hague district court.
The investigative journalism group Bellingcat says a probe into the 2019 killing of former Chechen separatist commander Zelimkhan Khangoshvili in Berlin shows that the attack was planned and organized by Russia's Federal Security Service.
The Russian working group preparing amendments to the constitution is proposing to strengthen guarantees of immunity for former presidents. On February 11, Russia’s Federation Council proposed creating the position of lifetime senator for former leaders. (in Russian, Current Time TV)
Best-selling Russian author Zakhar Prilepin has launched a new political party, For Truth, a nationalist grouping befitting of his transformation in recent years from left-wing dissident to one of President Vladimir Putin's most outspoken supporters on the right. The party is among several that critics say the Kremlin has helped create in recent months in preparation for elections in 2021 to the State Duma.
Twitter users in Russia reacted after controversial remarks made by Russian Orthodox Archpriest Dmitry Smirnov, who declared bluntly that women living together with their partners are comparable to "unpaid prostitutes." Metropolitan Ilarion, head of the external affairs office of the Moscow Patriarchate, issued an apology on February 17, but also said Smirnov meant no harm.
Serbian-Russian military cooperation is on an “upward trend” and both countries are committed to “further enhancing” it, Serbia’s Defense Ministry said on its website after hosting a delegation led by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on February 17.
Ukraine’s Security Service on February 17 said it had disrupted a network of “bot farms” supported by Russian online services that were used to spread “fake information about the situation in Ukraine, incite protests, scare the public,” issue bomb threats, and troll the accounts of high-ranking officials. The social-media accounts were also used to distribute firearms, explosive devices, and narcotics.
Ukraine’s National Police have arrested alleged mafia boss Yevhen Anisimov, who has been wanted for six years on numerous charges mainly related to extorting money from businesses in Ukraine’s southeastern Zaporizhzhya region during the presidential term of Viktor Yanukovych between 2010 and early 2014.
Speaking on February 14 to his country’s state media, Belarus President Alyaksandar Lukashenka announced that Belarus will seek to diversify its oil supply to “avoid standing on its knees every year on December 31.” He threatened to confiscate Russian oil transiting Belarus, and said he would continue buying oil from other countries, even at great expense. (in Russian, Current Time TV)
Lawmakers in Republika Srpska, Bosnia's Serb entity, have given a 60-day deadline for the termination of the mandates of three international members of the Constitutional Court, threatening to secede after the court rejected a claim by Bosnian Serbs to federal agricultural land.
Police in Kazakhstan's southern region of Zhambyl have arrested three ethnic Dungan brothers who allegedly were involved in a recent road-rage brawl thought to have triggered ethnic clashes that left 11 people dead.
The car of a Kazakh activist has been destroyed in a suspected arson attack in the southwestern town of Zhanaozen. The activist, Muratbai Zhumaghaliev, told RFE/RL on February 17, "I am confident that my car was destroyed because of my political views and activities.”.
Kyrgyz authorities say they have canceled a Chinese investment project in the eastern part of Kyrgyzstan. The decision follows several mass protests against the plans to construct a $275 million logistics center in the area.
RFE/RL Crimean contributor Mykola Semena, whose remaining criminal sentence and conviction on a separatism charge were vacated last month, has left Crimea for medical treatment in mainland Ukraine. (Ukrainian Service)