Here’s a look at some of the also-rans in what is predicted to be an overwhelming victory for Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sunday’s presidential poll.
Responding to accusations by Ukraine’s prosecutor-general of plotting a terrorist attack to overthrow the government, Ukrainian MP and war hero Nadiya Savchenko told journalists that many people from the military believe a coup is “to be expected” and is a “correct action.” Savchenko called on Ukrainians to defend their rights and freedom, or face a life worse than under Russia’s “terrorist and totalitarian regime.” (Ukrainian Service)
A funeral was held in Sverdlovsk oblast for Stanislav Matveev, a mercenary soldier with the private Russian military group, the Wagner company, who was killed in Syria on February 7. Cossacks prevented journalists from filming and entering the cemetery, and relatives of Matveev who had earlier indicated a willingness to speak to journalists now avoided them. (Current Time TV)
In an interview with Current Time TV, renowned Russian writer Boris Akunin spoke about the influence of Genghis Khan on Russian President Vladimir Putin, and the need for a truly federal structure that devolves power and revenues to the regions if Russia is to remain unified and avoid collapse. (Current Time TV)
Three decades after the deadly gas attack on the Iraqi Kurdish city of Halabja, thousands of survivors are still fighting for justice and for their lives. Poisonous gas continues to be used on civilians in Syria.
RFE/RL’s election live blog reports on a parody by the satirical Russian website Intersucks in which Central Election Commission Chairwoman Ella Pamfilova announces that polling stations in Moscow, St. Petersburg and other cities will be handing out green cards for residency in the United States in a bid to entice liberals to vote.
The United States for the first time is blaming the Russian government for an ongoing campaign of cyberattacks that it says is targeting the U.S. power grid, water systems, and other critical infrastructure.
Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Sergei Ryabkov told Russian media on March 16 that Russia is preparing retaliatory sanctions against the United States, including adding new American names to the black list. (Russian Service)
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg says the West is not looking to start a new Cold War or an arms race with Russia, but he reiterated that the military alliance will defend “all allies against any threat.”
All things supposedly being equal, one candidate has been more equal than others in the run-up to Russia's presidential election.
Presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak and former State Duma Deputy Dmitry Gudkov have announced they will launch a new political party, tentatively called the “Party of Change,” on an “anti-Putin” platform to include defeating the president, lifting sanctions and ending military conflicts. (Russian Service)
More than 170 gold bars fell out of a Russian cargo plane during takeoff on March 15 in the far-eastern city of Yakutsk, state media reported.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Hroysman has announced his government will cancel the Economic Cooperation Program signed between Russia and Ukraine in 2011, with the aim of liberating the country’s economy from strictures imposed by Russia. (Ukrainian Service)
Yakiv Smoliy, who was approved by the parliament on March 15, has vowed to continue reforms.
Twenty-seven cooperation agreements were signed during the landmark visit of Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoev to Tajikistan last week, covering issues ranging from energy, water, and transport to trade, culture, the fight against terrorism, and the prospect of visa-free travel.
Four Central Asian presidents met in Kazakhstan for the first regional summit in almost a decade, a sign of improving ties following the death of divisive Uzbek leader Islam Karimov in 2016.