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Record Heat Temperatures Recorded In Antarctica: ‘You Stole My Childhood’ (Russian Service)

VISUAL REPORTS

Mykola Semena: Four Years Were Crossed Out Of My Life

The Crimean journalist, whose case came to symbolize Russia’s efforts to stifle independent voices in its occupied regions, has been released from house arrest in Simferopol, cleared of criminal charges, and has now crossed the border to mainland Ukraine.

Court Releases ‘Moscow Case’ Student Andrey Barshai

A Moscow court has given activist Andrey Barshai, 21, a three-year suspended sentence for pushing a National Guard soldier at an unsanctioned rally on July 27. Barshai, a student at the Moscow Aviation Institute is the last defendant in what has been dubbed the July 2019 "Moscow Case." (Current Time)

Kosovo Police Investigate Officer's Killing Of Family And Herself

Investigators sealed off the site where a police officer reportedly shot her parents and two brothers to death and then killed herself in Gjilan, southeastern Kosovo. All five people were discovered dead at the scene.

INFOGRAPHIC: Infectious Diseases: How Do They Compare?

Almost 74,000 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed since the virus appeared for the first time in the Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019. This is how the latest coronavirus compares to other infectious diseases.

OTHER NEWS

Putin Fires Longtime Aide Surkov

Russian President Vladimir Putin has fired longtime aide Vladislav Surkov following weeks of speculation that the 55-year-old was leaving the Kremlin amid a change in its Ukraine policy. Surkov had been Russia's chief representative for peace talks between Kyiv and Moscow-backed separatists in Ukraine's eastern regions.

Russia Temporarily Bans Chinese Citizens From Entry Amid Virus Fears

Russia has announced, effective February 20, "The entry of all Chinese citizens via Russia's state frontiers will be suspended...for work travel, private travel, study, and tourism.” The ban does not apply to transit passengers.

Samsung To Comply With Russian Law Forcing Local Apps On Devices

Samsung has said it is “ready to meet the requirements” of controversial Russian legislation that stipulates that smartphones and other computer devices must have government-approved, pre-installed software on them.

Russian ‘Network’ Case Draws Mounting Public Censure

Daily expressions of support continue for seven men who were given harsh prison sentences last week in a case that many observers believe is fabricated by Russia’s Federal Security Service. On February 18, more than 200 animators signed an open letter declaring "we cannot remain indifferent to the fact that young people are being punished for crimes they did not commit."

Jehovah's Witnesses Charged With Extremism In Russia's Jewish Autonomous Region

Russian authorities in the Jewish Autonomous Region in Siberia have charged eight Jehovah's Witnesses with extremism amid what activists say is an escalating campaign of persecution of the religious group.

Dozens Of Russian Companies Found To Have ‘Murky’ Cash Withdrawal Practices And Same FSB Address

RFE/RL’s Russian Service reports that 12 companies, whose founders and general directors own dozens of other firms, are all involved in “grey” cash withdrawal schemes, and have registered addresses in a downtown Moscow building belonging to the FSB. (Russian Service)

France Charges Russian Artist, Girlfriend Over Leaked Sex Video

Russian artist Pyotr Pavlensky and his girlfriend have been charged for their alleged roles in leaking a sex video that helped upend the Paris mayoral race and bring down a close ally of President Emmanuel Macron, their lawyers say.

Ukraine Bans Zelenskiy Film Over Russian Actress’s Role

Ukraine's Cinema Agency has banned a 2012 comedy film featuring the country's current president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, because the film includes a Russian actress blacklisted by Kyiv for making an unauthorized visit to Ukraine's Russian-occupied region of Crimea.

Minsk Man Faces Threats For Speaking Belarusian

A man who ordered a cup of tea in Minsk in Belarusian, rather than Russian, says he has faced death threats from social media users in Russia after a dispute with the server.

Polish Miners Block Railway Hub To Protest Import Of Russian Coal

Several hundred miners in Poland launched a blockade of a railway terminal in the country's main coal mining region on February 18 to protest rising imports of Russian coal.

’We Made Mistakes': In Uzbekistan, A Rare Admission Over Andijon Killings

In an interview with the Uzbek news agency Qalampir on February 7, Deputy Prosecutor-General Svetlana Artykova said "innocent" people were shot in the eastern city of Andijon on May 13, 2005. It was the first time an Uzbek government official has made such an admission.

Uzbekistan Detains 21 Suspected Members Of Banned Islamist Militant Group

Uzbekistan's Interior Ministry says it has detained 21 suspected supporters of a banned Islamist militant group that has been functioning in Syria. The ministry says the detainees are influenced by a 23-year-old Uzbek man identified as A. Shodibekov, whom they suspect of planning to help fund and join militants from a group called Katiba al-Tawhid wal-Jihad (Brigade of the Monotheism and the Holy War).

New Kazakh Opposition Party Cancels Founding Congress

The Democratic Party of Kazakhstan, a newly created opposition party, has cancelled its founding congress amid pressure imposed by law enforcement authorities against supporters and activists across the country. Party supporters will rally in Almaty on February 22 to protest their treatment and demand democratic reforms.

COMMENTARY: Phantom Foe? Russia To Upgrade Kyrgyzstan's Air-Defense System

Russian Deputy Defense Minister Nikolai Pankov announced on February 11 that a modern air-defense system would be sent to the Russian military base in northern Kyrgyzstan. Although some have questioned the motives for the move, it is a logical step in creating a unified air-defense system for the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

PRESSROOM: Politico Reports On RFE/RL's Return To Three EU Eastern Member States.

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