U.S. Diplomat Says Russia Should 'Come Clean' About MH17
Ahead of a Dutch trial that is due to begin on March 9, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Chris Robinson told RFE/RL that it was “long passed time for Russia to reveal what it knows” about its role in the 2014 downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.
Moscow’s Nemtsov Memorial March Takes Aim At President Putin
A march of thousands through downtown Moscow on February 29 to mourn the 2015 murder of Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov morphed into a political protest against President Vladimir Putin.
Irregularities Mar Tajik Parliamentary Elections
Voting irregularities were in evidence during Tajikistan’s March 1 parliamentary elections. In one instance, an RFE/RL correspondent saw a single voter cast 22 ballots. President Emomali Rahmon's ruling party was declared the overwhelming winner, while the only opposition party that participated ailed to win a single seat.
Uzbek Gymnast Set For Record-Breaking Eighth Olympics
Legendary Uzbek gymnast Oksana Chusovitina will compete in her eighth and final Olympic Games this summer in Tokyo. Chusovitina, who is now 44 years old, has competed for four different teams, winning a gold in 1992.
Putin Seeks To Enshrine Same-Sex Marriage Ban In Constitution
Russian President Vladimir Putin has sent constitutional amendments to the lower house of parliament that include language stating that marriage is between "a man and a woman.”
Russian Regulator Accuses BBC Of Broadcast Violations
Russia's communications regulator has accused the BBC World News channel of violating broadcasting requirements inside Russia, in an intensification of a dispute over media between Moscow and London.
After Idlib, Russian Pundits Blame Turkey For Bloodshed
Pro-government TV presenter Vladimir Solovyov recited Kremlin talking points in his March 1 evening show, watched by millions, after the February 27 air strike in Syria’s Idlib province that killed at least 33 Turkish soldiers. He called the Turkish-backed opponents of President Bashar al-Assad "terrorists," said that government forces were provoked, and denied that Russia had anything to do with it.
Navalny Assets Frozen As Deripaska Launches Lawsuit
Russian opposition politician Aleksei Navalny says his finances, along those of his wife, children, parents, and the head of his Anti-Corruption Foundation have been frozen without explanation in a move to discredit and disgrace him. Navalny said he obtained information that billionaire Oleg Deripaska, who has strong links to Russia's leadership, was suing him for unknown reasons.
Three Russian Investors, Many Millions, And One Manhattan Address
The swank art-deco condominium 20 Pine, just steps from the New York Stock Exchange, is a distinguished address in the city’s real estate industry. Three Russian investors, at least one of them politically connected, have purchased 18 apartments there for a sum totaling more than $18 million.
'Were The Builders Morons?' Russia's Unveils First Theme Park
Rising above a sea of asphalt parking are the stubby turrets of Russia's first-ever foray into the theme-park business. At first glance, Moscow’s Dream Island bears a slight resemblance to Disneyland. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin opened the park to the public on February 29. The reaction on social networks was immediate.
Freedom House Assails Russia, Iran For Protest Crackdowns
In its annual report released on March 4, Freedom House said that twice as many countries suffered setbacks relating to political rights and civil liberties in 2019 than those making gains, marking what it called the “14th consecutive year of deterioration in global freedom.”
Shmyhal Set To Replace PM Honcharuk Amid Ukraine Government Shake-Up
Ukrainian Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk has submitted his resignation as the government in Kyiv seems poised for a major reshuffle. The parliament will likely vote on March 4 to accept his resignation and replace him with 44-year-old Denys Shmyhal, currently a deputy prime minister.
One Ukrainian Soldier Killed, Four Wounded In East Of Country
One Ukrainian soldier was killed and four were wounded during an artillery attack on March 3 in the eastern part of the country. Ukraine’s military reported that mortar rockets were fired on Ukrainian positions and high-caliber machine guns were also used.
Kyiv Launches Bi-lingual TV Channel For Crimea
Ukraine's Culture Ministry has launched a new television channel in Russia-occupied Crimea and parts of the easternmost Donetsk and Luhansk regions that the government in Kyiv doesn't control. Yulia Ostrovska, acting CEO of the public broadcaster UATV, says one of the channel's goals is the "de-occupation of [Ukrainians’] consciousness."
Belarus And Britain Conduct Joint Military Drills
British and Belarusian troops are undertaking joint, albeit modest, military exercises in Belarus for the first time in recent memory. The troops will also participate in cultural events, including studying the two countries’ history and their contributions to victory in World War II. (Russian Service)
Bulgarian PM Borisov Accuses EU Of Not Paying Turkey In ‘Refugee Deal’
Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov has joined Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in blaming the European Union for the collapse of the 2016 refugee deal, following rising tensions in Syria.
Serbia Claims Sierra Leone Has Rescinded Kosovo Recognition
Serbia’s Foreign Ministry says Sierra Leone has become the latest country to withdraw its recognition of Kosovo as an independent nation. The decision, which would make the African nation the 18th country to make such a reversal, comes during a visit to Sierra Leone by Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic.
European Commission Says Albania, North Macedonia Merit Membership Talks
North Macedonia and Albania have received promising news after updated progress reports published by the EU's executive body said both countries had delivered results and appeared ready to open EU accession talks.
Kazakh Whistle-Blower Receives U.S. State Department Women's Courage Award
Sairagul Sauytbay, an ethnic Kazakh who escaped a Chinese "reeducation camp" in Xinjiang and revealed the horrors there after escaping to Kazakhstan, is one of a dozen recipients of the U.S. State Department's 2020 International Women of Courage Award.
Kyrgyz Former Lawmaker Accused Of Trying To Seize Power
Former lawmaker Kanybek Osmonaliev, one of the organizers of a March 2 mass rally in Bishkek that turned violent, has been detained by the State Committee for National Security on suspicion of attempting to seize power.
MAJLIS PODCAST: Protests In Kazakhstan And An Activist’s Death In Police Custody
COMMENTARY: A Hard Lesson Learned On Uzbekistan’s Road To Economic Reform
AFGHANISTAN: Historic U.S. - Taliban Deal Threatened By Two Key Issues
PHOTOGALLERY: Burnt By The Sun: Uzbekistan’s Spectacular Solar Furnace