The Kremlin has mostly gotten away with treating its neighbors as colonies.
Several thousand people have demonstrated in St. Petersburg to protest the transfer of St. Isaac's Cathedral to the Russian Orthodox Church. (Russian Service)
A presidential campaign event organized by Russian anti-Kremlin activist Aleksei Navalny was abruptly halted, due to an alleged bomb threat. He blamed "idiotic authorities" for trying to stop him by evacuating the event.
An RFE/RL contributor goes on trial on March 20 in Russia-annexed Crimea on separatism-related charges for an article he wrote criticizing Moscow's seizure of the Ukrainian peninsula.
The foreign and defense ministers of Japan and Russia have begun "two-plus-two" talks in Tokyo, with both sides saying regional security and the dispute over a small chain of islands will be discussed.
Russia plans to host international talks on the conflict in Afghanistan on April 14, a high-ranking Afghan official said.
Military drills involving Russia’s airborne forces and its Black Sea fleet on March 20 are, according to the forces’ commander, the first time in the Russian military’s history that airborne formations from three separate locations are being simultaneously mobilized and brought to Crimea with weapons, live ammunition, and heavy equipment. (Russian Service)
Russian President Vladimir Putin formally approved this week an intergovernmental agreement to incorporate "some military units" of Georgia's breakaway Republic of South Ossetia into the Russian armed forces.
One of the two Russian FSB agents indicted by U.S. officials this week worked as an undercover officer at Renaissance Capital, a Moscow investment bank owned by billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov.
According to government figures, cases of extortion in Russia overall more than doubled between 2015 and 2016, and rights activists say cases inside the military are on the rise.
Russia’s Children’s Rights Commissioner has reported that child suicides increased 57 percent in 2016 over the previous year, reversing a downward trend between 2011 to 2015. She cited the avalanche of so-called "death groups" on social networks, which provide links to graphic information and methods for taking one’s life, as a leading cause. (in Russian, Current Time TV)
A former executive director of the Russian space agency, Roskosmos, has been found dead in his jail cell with stab wounds.
A spokesman for Ukraine’s defense ministry declared on March 20 that the conflict in Ukraine’s eastern region, which began in the spring of 2014, has claimed the lives of 2629 soldiers and wounded 9,4000. (Ukrainian Service)
Authorities in Belarus on March 19 detained at least three organizers of continuing protests against a controversial tax on the unemployed.
A former member of the Moldovan parliament has been arrested amid allegations he spied for Russia.
Bulgarian officials say they are prepared to increase patrols and complete a razor-wire fence along its border with Turkey to prevent any new flood of migrants.
Zhanar Akhmet, a Kazakh blogger who has criticized President Nursultan Nazarbaev's government, has fled the country, saying she fears for her safety.
Kazakh officials are complaining that a growing number of parents are refusing to inoculate their children based on religious objections.