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The Weird, Wacky Wonderworld Of Communist-Era Hotels

A celebration of classic haunts where the spirits of the old regimes still often sleep.


Russia-Backed Separatist Territories Adopt Own License Plates

Three letters, three numbers and a tri-colored flag instead of the Ukrainian yellow and blue -- the new license plates of the so-called Donetsk and Lugansk separatist republics will be required for all drivers, and violators will face fines. (Ukrainian Service, Donbas realities)

Pussy Riot Member Again Taken To Police

Russian Pussy Riot punk protest band member Maria Alyokhina managed to take this video on February 27 while being confronted in a cafe in Russia-annexed Crimea by several men in traditional Cossack military uniforms calling themselves members of “Crimea's self-defense.” She was reportedly taken to police. Alyokhina was also detained by police yesterday in Simferopol, together with two other band members, and ordered to undergo a medical exam before being released. Band members had planned to stage a protest on the Ukrainian peninsula in support of jailed filmmaker Oleh Sentsov.

Third Anniversary Of Nemtsov Murder Marked

Demonstrators gathered across the Russian Federation over the weekend to mark the murder of opposition activist Boris Nemtsov, gunned down just steps from the Kremlin, on February 27, 2015. RFE/RL filmed memorials in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Kazan, Chelyabinsk, and Tomsk.


Video-Game Footage Used In State TV Report About Syria

A montage of video footage aired by Russian networks on February 25 included a segment illustrating the fate of Roman Filippov, the pilot who was shot down over Syria earlier this month. But the clip, which lasted just a second, wasn't from Syria, nor was it from Russian surveillance footage. It was from the video game Arma-3.

U.S. To Overtake Russia As Top Oil Producer

The International Energy Agency says the United States will overtake Russia as the world’s biggest crude oil producer by 2019, as U.S. shale output continues to grow.

United Russia Party Members Forced To Turn Out Vote

Russian media is reporting that the United Russia party has launched “Megapolis,” a project intended to boost turnout in major cities for the March 18 presidential elections. The higher one's rank in the party, the more voters he or she is required to mobilize, with quotas ranging from 20 to 50 voters each. (Russian Service)

Sobchak Calls For Sexual-Harassment Probe Against Duma Deputy

Presidential candidate and journalist Ksenia Sobchak has called for an investigation into sexual harassment allegations against Leonid Slutsky, chairman of the State Duma’s International Relations Committee.

Russia's 'Inflatable Duck' Activist Jailed After Nemtsov Rally

Artyom Goncharenko, a member of the Vesna human rights group, has been sentenced in St. Petersburg to 25 days in jail after being detained on his way to attend a February 25 rally in memory of slain opposition leader Boris Nemtsov.

Clashes In Front Of Ukraine Parliament Turn Violent

Ukraine’s national police report that at least 14 officers were injured and nine people were detained during clashes with protesters in front of the parliament in Kyiv on February 27. A member of former Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk’s National Front Party Anton Herashchenko has blamed Mikheil Saakashvili’s Popular Front movement for the confrontation, but Saakashvili’s party denies the allegations. (Ukrainian Service)

Ukraine Rearrests Alleged Mastermind Of Global Cybercrime Gang

Russian-born Gennadiy Kapkanov, who is believed to have headed the complex and sophisticated criminal network of computer servers known as Avalanche, was reportedly arrested by Ukrainian cyberpolice in Kyiv on February 25.

Latvia Sanctions Kadyrov And Cronies Under ‘Magnitsky’ Ban

Latvia placed 49 Russian nationals, including Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov and several other Chechen officials, under an entry ban pursuant to a law styled after the U.S. Magnitsky Act that authorizes sanctions on human rights abusers. (in Russian, Kavkaz Realities)

EU President Says Serbia Must Resolve Kosovo Dispute To Join Bloc

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, speaking after talks with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic in Belgrade, said Serbia was on the right path, but must resolve its dispute with Kosovo and implement a series of reforms before it can join the European Union.

Czech Court Rules To Free Syrian Kurdish Leader

A Czech court has ruled to release Salih Muslim, a former co-chair of the Democratic Union Party and a prominent leader of Syria’s Kurdish community, who was detained in Prague at the weekend. Turkey had requested his extradition.

Orphaned By IS: Tajik Grandfather Seeks Return Of 10-Year-Old Survivor

They left Tajikistan as a family of six, but only one would live to tell the tale of how they lived -- and mostly died -- in Iraq after joining the Islamic State extremist group.

PODCAST: China’s Increasing Role Along The Afghan Border

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