Ukraine has designated February 26 as the day marking “Crimean Resistance to the Russian Occupation.” On this day in 2014, Crimeans demonstrated in front of their parliament in support of Ukraine’s territorial integrity of Ukraine, while counter-protesters rallied for “Russian Unity.” (Crimea Realities website)
In February 1944, the regime of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin started forcibly deporting half a million people from the Caucasus region to Central Asia. Seventy-five years later, survivors in Kazakhstan spoke to Current Time.
Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon has ordered state media to refrain from portraying him on TV, and instead show workers and farmers in the fields. But portraits of Rakhmon are already ubiquitous, hanging in every state institution and along the roads, and adorning the covers of books and countless items in stores. (Current Time TV)
Russia-based private-equity group Baring Vostok has appealed to President Vladimir Putin to "take personal control" of a criminal investigation into its jailed American founder Michael Calvey and five other executives who are facing charges of large-scale financial fraud.
A joint investigation by Current Time TV and the investigative group Municipal Scanner has found that a network of companies associated with Russian businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin has received at least 5,393 state contracts since 2011 totaling approximately $3.1 billion. The companies have financed and supplied equipment to affiliates in Sudan and the Central African Republic, and supported mercenary activities in Ukraine’s Donbas region and elsewhere. (in Russian, Current Time TV)
Russian media is reporting that Igor Malashenko, a former chief of the Russian state television and radio giant Ostankino and a founder of the NTV television company and the Media-Most conglomerate in the 1990s, was found dead in Spain on February 25.
Maria Butina is scheduled to make her first appearance in U.S. federal court on February 26 since pleading guilty last year to charges of being an unregistered foreign agent. The hearing comes ahead of a final decision on whether the Russian native will serve time in a U.S. prison or be deported to Russia.
Eighteen year-old Ivan Luzin has been accused of organizing an unsanctioned rally and involving minors after he and two 16 year-old girls took to the streets in Kaliningrad on February 7 to protest against torture. If found guilty, Luzin, the first defendant under a December 2018 law, faces a fine, 100 hours of compulsory labor, or 15 days in jail. (in Russian, Current Time TV)
Yelizaveta Peskova, the daughter of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, works as an intern in the European Parliament in Brussels, and has unhindered access to various EU documents, RFE/RL has learned.
General Volodymyr Zamana, the former chief of staff for Ukraine’s armed forces, was taken into custody on February 25 on charges of high treason. Prosecutor-General Yury Lutsenko has said Zamana is suspected of illegally dissolving 70 military garrisons and units, including air-defense missile brigades and battalions and 19 air force units from 2012-2014.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has signed a law banning Russian observers from monitoring the country’s elections, beginning with presidential polls scheduled for March 31. (Ukrainian Service)
Speaking with RFE/RL's Moldova Service after the weekend’s legislative elections, Angela Gramada, president of the Experts for Security and Global Affairs think tank in Bucharest, Romania, described the electoral process as “primitive,” and lamented “how little progress” Moldova has made.
Prominent journalist Ulugbek Babakulov, a correspondent for the Russia-based Fergana news site who has been charged by Kyrgyz authorities with inciting ethnic hatred, says he has received political asylum in France.
With debate raging in the United Kingdom and the United States about the possible return of young women who joined Islamic State and now want to come home, Tajikistan is taking a firm stance: the Foreign Ministry announced earlier this month that it will take all necessary measures to make sure no Tajik child is left in Syria or Iraq. The lack of a rehabilitation process, though, is cause for concern.