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For A Free Internet (RFE/RL Russian Service)


Moscow Protests Against Internet Bill

Thousands rallied in downtown Moscow to protest an Internet bill that critics say will increase state control over the Internet and facilitate censorship. Police detained several people, including RFE/RL Russian Service correspondent Andrei Kiselyov.

Under House Arrest, Russia's Serebrennikov Directs Opera From Afar

Despite being under house arrest in Moscow, famed Russian director Kirill Serebrennikov has staged an opera 2,000 kilometers away in Hamburg, Germany.

Suspected Bosnian Militants Captured In Syrian Battles

As U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces pound the final stronghold of Islamic State militants, thousands of people have been captured -- including four Bosnian men.

A Ukrainian Priest's Fight Club

When Orthodox priest Andriy Korobkov is not ministering to his small parish in western Ukraine, he's serving the community in a different way, by teaching kids martial arts.


U.S. Calls On Russia To Allow More Access To Ex-Marine Whelan

The United States has called on Russia to permit increased access to ex-Marine Paul Whelan, who is being held in Moscow on an espionage charge. A U.S. Embassy spokesperson in Moscow said on March 11 that officials would visit the 49-year-old "later this week."

Don't Pass 'Fake News' Bill, Kremlin Human Rights Council Says

The Kremlin human rights council, citing the European Convention on Human Rights, has issued a statement urging Russia's upper house of parliament to reject a bill that would allow authorities to block websites that publish what they deem to be "fake news" and penalize them for content found to be insulting to state officials, state symbols, or Russian society.

Russian Defense Ministry Asks Military Industry To Create Youth Armies

Russian media reports that the Defense Ministry has asked leaders of military-industrial enterprises to create groups of patriotic youth. The initiative would help mobilize youth around state aims, and demonstrate “personal support” for Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. (Russian Service)

Ukraine Pivots, Says Austrian Journalist Barred 'For His Own Safety'

Austrian reporter Christian Wehrschuetz said he feared being attacked by Ukrainian nationalists over reporting critical of the government in Kyiv, according to the Ukrainian Security Service. Now they're using a one-year entry ban to keep him out of the country.

Onetime Russian Hero Selling Crimea Medal Bearing 'Despised' Putin

Igor Girkin, better known by the nom de guerre Strelkov, was a military leader of pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine during the first phase of the war. Now out of cash and out of favor with the Kremlin, he is selling a gold medal he was awarded in 2014 for his role in the occupation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula.

Memorial’s Titiyev Resigned To Guilty Verdict In 'Sham' Trial In Chechnya

In his final statement in court on March 11, Chechen human rights activist Oyub Titiyev called his case “fabricated,” and said he is certain he will be convicted by a court next week after a drug-possession trial he described as "spitting at justice." Chechnya’s Shali district court said the verdict will be pronounced on March 18.

New Wave Of Bosnian Politicians Tries To Turn Country Around

More than two decades after a devastating war pulled the fledgling country apart along ethnic lines, Bosnia is still trying to shake off the effects. Younger Bosnians have been hit hard by instability, as the country struggles with the world's highest youth unemployment, at 55%. But many are also getting involved in politics, rather than getting on a bus.

Baku Launches Military Exercises Ahead Of Leadership Talks With Armenia

Azerbaijan has launched large-scale military maneuvers ahead of an expected first meeting between President Ilham Aliyev and new Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian. Armenia's Foreign Ministry said the drills "do not contribute to the creation of an environment conducive to peace."

Kazakh Activist In Xinjiang Transferred To House Arrest

Serikzhan Bilash, the detained leader of a group in Kazakhstan that has raised concerns over the internment of Kazakhs in China's Xinjiang province, has been charged with inciting ethnic discord and transferred on March 11 from jail to house arrest..

COMMENTARY: Turkmenistan's Route To The European Union

POLL: Most Russians And Ukrainians Feel Good About Each Other

A joint poll by the Levada Center in Russia and the Kiev International Institute of Sociology in Ukraine reports that 82% of Russian respondents have a positive attitude towards Ukrainians and 77% of Ukrainians have a positive attitude towards Russians. Majorities in both countries -- 52% in Russia and 48% in Ukraine -- believe they should have open borders and no visa or customs restrictions. (Russian Service)

JOURNALISTS IN TROUBLE: RFE/RL Urges Ukraine To Address Threats To Investigative Journalists

JOURNALISTS IN TROUBLE: RFE/RL Kazakh Correspondent Detained Again In Restive Zhanaozen

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