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RFE/RL Presents At SXSW Today: Smashing The Firewall -- Reporting In Iran


How Crimeans Are Being Persuaded To Vote

If you voted in the “referendum” in 2014, come to the election on March 18! That is what local media is instructing voters to do, claiming that if not for Russia, Crimea would have been swept away by a wave of gay marriages, and deluded by the glorification of Ukrainian nationalist leader Stepan Bandera rather than Soviet World War II veterans. (Crimea Realities website)

Georgian President Asserts Euro-Atlantic Direction But Warns Of ‘Provocations’

"We are developing our country in [a] European and Euro-Atlantic direction," Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili told RFE/RL in an exclusive interview in Brussels on March 10, while cautioning against "possible provocations" from Russia.

Azerbaijani Opposition Holds Rally Ahead Of Presidential Poll

Azerbaijan's two main opposition parties on March 10 held a rally calling for a boycott of the April 11 presidential election.

Slovak Protesters Demand Probe Of Journalist’s Killing

In the largest demonstrations since the 1989 Velvet Revolution that brought down communism, tens of thousands of Slovaks gathered in the capital, Bratislava, on March 9 to demand an investigation into the killings of reporter Jan Kuciak and his fiancee, Martina Kusnirova, and to call for an end to corruption in the EU and NATO country.



RFE/RL’s election live-blog is following the debate on the website The Question as to whether boycotting the election is better than voting for someone other than President Vladimir Putin. Former Deputy Energy Minister and Navalny supporter Vladimir Milov endorsed one respondent’s comment that a boycott is better "because your ballot can be doctored, but empty polling stations can't."

Russia Test-Fires 'Hypersonic' Missile, U.S. Sees No Change In Capability

Russia says it has successfully test-fired a "hypersonic" missile, which President Vladimir Putin earlier this month claimed flies 10 times faster than the speed of sound.

U.S., Russia Remain World’s Top Exporters Of Weapons

The United States remains the world's top weapons seller, accounting for 34 percent of global arms sales over the past five years, while Russia was the second-largest exporter with about 20 percent of all global arms deliveries, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute reported on March 11.

Nerve Agent Traces Found At Salisbury Pub, Restaurant

Traces of a nerve agent used to poison a former Russian spy and his daughter have been found in a pub and a restaurant they visited before falling critically ill, England’s chief medical officer says.

The EU. Extends Sanctions Against Russia

The European Council announced on March 12 that it is extending sanctions against 150 Russian individuals and 38 companies for another six months in response to Russia’s continued threat to Ukraine’s territorial integrity and independence. (Russian Service)

Mogherini Travels To Ukraine Ahead Of Anniversary Of Crimea Takeover

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini is traveling to Kyiv on March 11 for talks with top Ukrainian government officials, ahead of the fourth anniversary of Russia's seizure of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula.

Russian State-Funded Employees Receive Salary Hike Ahead Of Elections

Russian media report that doctors, teachers, researchers and other government workers have received as much as a five-fold increase in their monthly salaries this year as a result of the implementation of public sector raises decreed by President Vladimir Putin in May 2012. (Russian Service)

Russian MFA Spokeswoman Accuses Duma Deputy Of Harassment

Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, has become the latest woman to accuse influential Russian lawmaker Leonid Slutsky of sexual harassment.

Poroshenko Meets With Bloggers Behind Closed Doors

Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko reportedly held a closed meeting on March 9 with several Ukrainian bloggers during which the peacekeeping mission in Donbas, cooperation with the IMF, and the media’s negative reporting about the progress of reforms were discussed. (Ukrainian Service)

Transdniester Envoy Says Russia, Ukraine Equally Vital To Resolution

The new OSCE envoy for the Transdniester conflict says that Russia and Ukraine have equally important roles in resolving the decades-old dispute between Moldova and its eastern breakaway region. (Moldovan Service)

As Serbia-Iran Flights Resume, So Do Concerns About Migrants

Direct flights between Iran and Serbia have resumed after a gap of 27 years. Some groups in Serbia have raised concerns that the flights might be used as a new route for migrants from Iran seeking to settle in Europe.

MAJLIS PODCAST: Central Asian Leaders Summit: What Do They Hope To Achieve?

INFOGRAPHIC: Changing The Rules To Cling To Power

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