Several Jehovah's Witnesses in the Russian city of Surgut say they were beaten, suffocated, or shocked during interrogations by police about their group's activities. The charges come amid reports of a broader Russian crackdown on the U.S.-based religious group.
Amnesty International has called on Kazakhstan to respect the right to peaceful assembly after hundreds of protesters were arrested across the Central Asian country on one single day last month.
Paul Radu, a co-founder and coordinator of the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, told RFE/RL that the $8.89 billion global money-laundering scheme set up by Russia's largest private investment bank is just the "tip of the iceberg."
From a balcony with a view to the Kremlin, U.S. Army Major Martin Manhoff shot the only known independent footage of Stalin’s funeral.
The commander of U.S. forces in Europe called for bolstering Ukraine's defenses against Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine and the Black Sea. General Curtis Scaparrotti’s March 5 Senate testimony came just over three months after Russia seized three Ukrainian vessels and 24 Ukrainian sailors in the Kerch Strait, near Crimea.
EU ambassadors are expected to formally approve next week asset freezes and visa bans on eight Russians involved in the capture and jailing of 24 Ukrainian seamen in an incident near the Kerch Strait in November.
Russia’s Sberbank has issued a statement denying its involvement in money- laundering operations recently attributed to the Troika Dialogue, a bank purchased by Sberbank in 2012. The Sarajevo-based Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project reported on March 4 that Troika Dialogue, owned prior to 2012 by Russian-Armenian businessman Ruben Vardanyan, was at the center of a $9 billion global money-laundering scheme. (in Russian, Current Time TV)
In response to a March 5 report by Russian news agencies, Google has confirmed that Russia-annexed Crimea appears to users inside Russia as Russian territory. Google had earlier been warned by the Speaker of the Russian Duma about the “inadmissibility of designating Crimea as a territory of Ukraine.” Google maps still shows Crimea as Ukrainian territory in other global markets. (Ukrainian Service)
A female separatist commander and star propagandist for Russia-backed separatists has defected to Kyiv to be with her Ukrainian spy lover. But she has also brought word of Russian plans for a massive invasion. Moreover, she's ready to testify at The Hague to Moscow's role in alleged war crimes. Svitlana Dryuk aired her allegations on Ukraine's 1+1 TV channel on March 3.
Speaking on a popular state TV program hosted by prominent Russian interviewer Vladimir Pozner, Chairwoman of the Duma’s Committee on Family, Women and Children Tamara Pletneva said she considers homosexual people to be “sick” and in need of medical assistance. A 2013 Russian law prohibits the promotion of homosexuality among minors, and carries a fine of approximately $1,518 for violators. (Russian Service)
Aleksandr Mulyukin, a Russian civil rights activist from the Volga region, says he has fled Russia with his wife and three children to avoid persecution, and that he and his family are currently in a European Union country, where they have applied for political asylum.
In 2017, Vladimir Sotnikov graduated from Tomsk Medical University and joined the government's Rural Doctor program, an initiative aimed at encouraging young medical professionals to work in remote rural locations. Two years later, however, Sotnikov is frustrated and disenchanted. He was sent to work at a hospital in Tomsk Oblast’s northern corner where, he said, “we just forget about being doctors... All they want is to be able to send positive statistics to their bosses."
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian and European Council President Donald Tusk have met in Brussels for talks on relations between Yerevan and the European Union and on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Tusk told journalists that the EU "will continue to support Armenia's journey towards becoming a consolidated democracy and creating a better economic future for its citizens."
Following a meeting of the European Union-Georgia Association Council in Brussels on March 5, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said that Georgia had made "great steps" in implementing the agreement, which "provides the basis for our political association and our economic integration."
A U.S. judge has revoked the U.S. citizenship of Sammy Rasema Yetisen, also known as Rasema Handanovic or Zolja, a Bosnian-born Muslim woman who allegedly concealed her involvement in war crimes during the wars of the early 1990s in the former Yugoslavia.
Uzbekistan's top prosecutor says that Gulnara Karimova, the elder daughter of the late President Islam Karimov, has been ordered to prison after a court found she had violated terms of her house arrest. Karimova had at one point been seen as a possible heir to the presidency until she was brought down by a sprawling multinational corruption investigation.