Individual protesters held demonstrations in front of Russia’s Duma on March 8 demanding accountability for deputy Leonid Slutsky and other lawmakers who have been accused of harassing women journalists and coworkers. Slutsky issued an appeal for forgiveness on Facebook on March 8 amid growing calls for his resignation. (Russian Service)
Several hundred women marched in Kyiv on International Women’s Day, March 8, chanting "Women's rights are human rights!" and "Liberty, Equality, Women’s' Solidarity!" Marchers held posters protesting domestic violence, sexual violence, sexism and discrimination by gender. (Ukrainian Service)
On a day dedicated to transgender women's rights in Georgia, Monica, Fatima, Maria, and Miranda shared their hopes and dreams.
Shukufa Haideri has been boxing for 10 years. She says other Afghan women must "get out of the house, fight, learn, and do sports."
RFE/RL’s election live blog reports today about efforts in many places in Russia to hold referendums, many nonbinding, on March 18 to help boost turnout. In the Far Eastern city of Irkutsk, voters will decide which municipal district should be allocated 150 million rubles ($2.1 million) from the city for improvements, including new parks and squares. Locals above the age of 14 are eligible to vote.
Britain's interior minister has visited the site where former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter were found unconscious on March 3 after a suspected nerve-agent attack.
News of the poisoning of former Russian military intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Britain received little mention on Russia’s main TV channels until the evening of March 7, when the Channel One evening current affairs program Vremya Novostei reported on it with a less-than-subtle commentary.
The election-monitoring NGO Golos has compiled a report on efforts by authorities to lure voters to the polls on March 18 amid concerns over public apathy. Golos has documented the use of local referendums, contests for kids, selfie competitions, and exhortations to children to take their parents to the polls.
Volodymyr Ruban, the head of an NGO that has negotiated prisoner exchanges in the conflict zone in eastern Ukraine, was detained by Ukrainian authorities on March 8 on suspicion of smuggling weapons and ammunition from the separatist-held regions to government-controlled territory. RFE/RL’s Ukrainian Service reports that In a hearing on March 9, a judge in Kyiv accused Ruban of plotting to assassinate Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, former Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and Ukrainian Security Council Chief Oleksandr Turchynov.
The St. Petersburg Internet Research Agency, the subject of an indictment by U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller in connection with alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, has a much larger contingent of trolls working to promote the Kremlin's ends inside Russia itself.
The top U.S. military commander in Europe warned that the Balkans are facing increased covert and overt pressure from Russia, and that Washington and NATO need to do more to keep the region from destabilizing.
The European Union has criticized Belarus for executing convicted murderer Kiryl Kazachok and urged President Alyaksandr Lukashenka's government to abolish capital punishment.