In this exclusive interview, part of RFE/RL’s “Russia & Me” video project, former Belarus president Stanislau Shushkevich says no one has been a more willing servant to Moscow than current Belarusian leader Alyaksandr Lukashenka.
Ukrainians marked the second anniversary of the deaths of the “Heavenly Hundred,” a term used to refer to 104 people who were killed during Maidan demonstrations of 2014. (Ukrainian Service)
Ukrainian nationalists in Kyiv on February 20 threw stones at the office of Rinat Akhmetov, a Ukrainian oligarch from the eastern city of Donetsk, before proceeding to storm the local branches of Russian-owned Sberbank and Alfa bank, smashing windows, furniture, and equipment. A branch of Sberbank in the western city of Lviv was torched on February 21. (Ukrainian Service)
Uzbek President Islam Karimov lectured officials about the impossibility of restricting the Internet, despite the country’s proven practice of doing precisely that. RFE/RL’s website is chronically blocked inside the country.
Chechnya's mercurial leader Ramzan Kadyrov will be back in the news this week as the one-year anniversary of Boris Nemtsov's assassination approaches and Russia's opposition prepares to release a lengthy report on his activities.
Political analyst Nazari Zanoz writes that successful reform in Ukraine has suffered from a failure to build parallel institutions, dislodge the ‘old guard’ from parliament, fight corruption effectively, promote good governance, and enforce the rule of law. (In Ukrainian)
Natalia Sindeeva, general director of the independent Russian Internet TV channel Rain (Dozhd), told RFE/RL that the future of independent media in Russia depends on the Internet, which will bring uncensored programming to every house. (In Russian)
Researchers who track xenophobia in Russia have recorded an "impressive" decrease in hate crimes as the authorities appear to have stepped up pressure on far-right groups.
Entrepreneurs are calling for what could be nationwide protests on February 22 against a presidential decree that introduces new bureaucratic requirements for businesses. Protesters say the requirements are impossible to fulfill, and make additional bribes inevitable. (In Belarusian)
Tiny Transdniester, a splinter of land torn away from Moldova by separatists in 1990, has achieved exchange-rate tranquility as its pro-Russian leadership has clung improbably to a steady rate for its ruble against the U.S. dollar.
Rights activists say the detentions of two prominent media figures on charges of embezzlement and tax evasion are politically motivated, and evidence of increasing pressure on independent journalists in Kazakhstan.
Panelists in a roundtable discussion said that the sharp decrease in gas prices has produced an economic crisis inside the country and a crisis in confidence, too.