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VISUAL REPORTS

Heartbreak For Families Of Russian Mercenaries Lost In Syria

There has been no contact with six men from one Russian village since an incident in Syria on February 7, when a large number of Russian mercenaries were reportedly killed by U.S. air strikes.

Anniversary Of Nemtsov's Assassination Marked With Washington Plaza

Supporters and relatives of Boris Nemtsov have formally unveiled a new Washington, D.C., street plaza dedicated to the assassinated Russian opposition leader, as people marked the third anniversary of his killing in Moscow.

Spray-Painting For Putin

A blogger from Russia’s Komi Republic writes that local residents found similar graffiti on buildings and fences around the city, and speculates that the "advertisements" might have appeared at the order of the local police.

Kazakhstan’s ‘Berkutchi’ And Their Golden Eagles

Kazakh eagle hunters, known as “berkutchi,” took part in a national tournament in the city of Oral on February 24 - 25, the first of its kind in the western Kazakhstan region.

Czech Court Frees Syrian Kurdish Leader Wanted By Turkey

Czech authorities released Salih Muslim, a prominent Syrian Kurdish leader, on February 27 after three days' detention, rejecting a Turkish extradition request.

OTHER NEWS

Amid Outcry Over Ghouta, Russia Vows To Back Assad Against 'Terror Threat'

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on February 28 that Moscow will continue to help Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government to defeat what he called the "terrorist threat."

U.S. Spy Chief Says White House Has Not Deterred Russian Meddling

U.S. President Donald Trump has not ordered or authorized intelligence agencies to retaliate against Russian meddling and disinformation campaigns, resulting in a response that has not deterred Moscow, a top U.S. intelligence official has testified.

Suspected Russian Cocaine Trafficker Blames U.S. For Argentina Bust

Andrei Kovalchuk, the man the Russian Federal Security Service claims was behind an alleged attempt to smuggle nearly 400 kilograms of cocaine from Argentina to Moscow, is claiming he is the victim of a set-up by U.S. intelligence and Argentinian police.

Rybka and Leslie Seek Asylum In U.S.

Nastia Rybka, the woman at the center of Aleksei Navalny’s investigation about Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska and Deputy PM Sergei Prikhodko, and Alex Leslie, who describes himself as a “sex coach,” have applied for asylum in the U.S. The two are currently detained in Thailand and are awaiting transfer to Moscow within the next 48 hours. Rybka has appealed to the international press promising to talk about connections between Russian authorities (via Deripaska) and President Donald Trump’s former campaign chief Paul Manafort. (Russian Service)

Spikes In ‘Dislikes’ Suggest Increased 'Bot' Attacks Ahead Of Russian Election

After the independent Belsat TV posted a report on YouTube about life in a Russian village on January 30, it took only two days for the video to receive some 24,000 dislikes. Subsequent research into the numbers suggests a "bot" attack, most likely by pro-Russian sources unhappy with the story.

Jailed Russian Activist Says Sentence Is Meant To Isolate Him Before Election

A court in St. Petersburg has sentenced Andrei Pivovarov, the local leader of the Open Russia NGO, to 25 days in prison. The activist says the sentence is intended to keep him out of action during the March 18 presidential election.

Yanukovych To Hold Press Briefing In Russia

Ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych will hold a press conference in Moscow on March 2 to present what he describes as new evidence of the current Ukrainian leadership’s involvement in the killing of Maidan protesters in February 2014, and ongoing litigation involving Kyiv officials. (Ukrainian Service)

In Latest Case, Prosecutor Seeks Ban On Crimean Activist’s 'Public Activities'

A prosecutor in Russian-controlled Crimea has asked a court to sentence Suleyman Kadyrov, a Crimean Tatar activist who opposes Moscow's rule over the peninsula, to a suspended sentence of three years. Kadyrov is charged with publicly calling for the violation of Russia's territorial integrity.

Macedonians Protest Name Change As PM Offers Greece Four Options

Several thousand Macedonians have taken to the streets in the capital, Skopje, to protest against a possible change of their country's name, as required by Greece to end a long-running dispute.

Hungary Summons Ukrainian Ambassador Over Arson Attack

Hungary's Foreign Ministry has summoned the Ukrainian ambassador to warn against rising "extremism" after an ethnic Hungarian cultural center in western Ukraine was attacked for the second time in a month.

Uzbekistan Lifts Parole Restrictions On Journalist Bekjon

Uzbek journalist Muhammad Bekjon says authorities have lifted parole restrictions previously placed on him, one year after his release from almost 18 years behind bars.

Former Uzbek Interior Minister, Sanctioned After Andijon, Returns To Power

Lt.General Zokir Almatov has been appointed to Uzbekistan’s newly established position of Chief Adviser to the Minister of Interior. Almatov, the longest serving interior minister under the late President Islam Karimov, was one of 10 Uzbek officials who were sanctioned by the EU for their role in suppressing the 2005 Andijan uprising. In his first remarks in his new capacity, the audio of which was obtained by RFE/RL, Almatov vowed to restore the image of Uzbek police and serve the president. (in Russian, Uzbek Service)

Turkmen President, Demonstrating ‘Continuity,’ Shares Spotlight With Son

Turkmen president Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov has once again appeared in public with his son, Serdar, at a state-sponsored sporting event. The official Turkmen press has declared such events a “symbol of the continuity of generations.” (in Russian, Turkmen Service)

INFOGRAPHIC: Oil Systems Go!

The U.S. will soon overtake Russia as the world’s largest crude producer.

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