Fears Of Mass Property Confiscation In Donbas
A new regulation approved by Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine has sparked fears that apartments abandoned by people who fled the fighting in the region could be seized on a mass scale.
Thousands Evacuated As Ukraine Blames Munitions Depot Fire On Sabotage
A munitions depot near the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv caught fire and was rocked by a series of explosions in a conflagration that authorities have blamed on "sabotage.”
Protesters Accuse Georgian Police Of Planting Evidence
Protesters in the Georgia capital, Tbilisi, accused police of planting illegal drugs on suspects.
Sentence Upheld For Russian Woman Who Tried Joining IS
Russia's Supreme Court upheld the jail sentence of a former Moscow State University student who was convicted in December for trying to join the Islamic State extremist group.
Former Russian Lawmaker Shot Dead In Kyiv
A former Russian lawmaker who defected to Ukraine in 2016 and has compared Russia with Nazi Germany has been shot dead in central Kyiv.
Defiant Navalny Vows To Hold Protest In Central Moscow
Russian opposition politician Aleksei Navalny has rejected sites proposed by the authorities for an anticorruption rally on March 26, vowing to hold the protest in central Moscow.
Senior NATO Official Conferred Recently With Russian General Staff Chief
The head of NATO's military committee recently held a telephone call with the chief of the Russian general staff, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on March 22.
Magnitsky Lawyer's Condition Said To Improve After Apartment-House Plunge
A lawyer representing the family of the deceased Russian whistle-blower Sergei Magnitsky remained hospitalized on March 22 after falling several stories from his apartment building.
Duma Approves Tax Breaks For Sanctions-Hit Russians
Russia's lower house of parliament has approved legislation to exempt Russians who are under Western sanctions from paying tax in Russia if they are registered as taxpayers in foreign countries.
Russia Sends Another ‘Humanitarian Convoy’ To Donbas
The Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations said on March 23 that the country’s 63rd convoy carrying over 500 tons of “humanitarian cargo” is crossing the Russia-Ukraine border en route to the separatist-controlled Donetsk and Luhansk regions. (Ukrainian Service)
Ukraine Bars Russia's Eurovision Contestant Over Crimea Visit
Ukraine's main state security agency has announced it has barred Russia's contestant in the Eurovision Song Contest from entering the country, drawing a swift and angry reaction from Moscow.
Crimean Tatar Leader Likely To Face Trial Soon On Separatism Charge
A Crimean Tatar leader who has criticized Russia's seizure of the Black Sea peninsula appears likely to face trial soon on what he says are spurious charges of separatism.
Crimea Group Reports 43 Forced Disappearances
Crimea SOS, a human rights group,issued a report on March 23 documenting the enforced disappearance of 43 residents of Russia-annexed Crimea for the period 27 February 2014 - 31 December 2016. The report states that 17 of those detained were released, 18 were never found and are considered missing, 6 have been found dead, and 2 have been detained for “political motives.” (Ukrainian Service)
Lithuania, Ukraine Reject Lukashenka's 'Provocateurs' Claim
Lithuania and Ukraine have rejected Belarus President Alyaksandr Lukashenka's allegations that they were involved in a planned "armed provocation" in Belarus.
Russia To Repay Soviet-Era Debt To Bosnia
Bosnia-Herzegovina and Russia have signed an agreement to settle Moscow's $125.2 million Soviet-era debt to the Balkan country, in cash.
Uzbek, Kazakh Presidents Tout Ties As Mirziyaev Vists Astana
Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyaev has held talks with his Kazakh counterpart, Nursultan Nazarbaev, who said that contracts worth almost $1 billion would be signed at a Kazakh-Uzbek business forum on March 23.
Dutch Prosecutor Investigating ING Over Possible Corruption In Uzbekistan
The Dutch prosecutor's office said it is investigating ING Groep over the global financial firm’s possible role in money laundering and corruption in Uzbekistan.
Man Bites Dog: Turkmen President Puts Mascot On Tight Leash
Just weeks after Turkmenistan unveiled a cartoonish rendering of a native Central Asian shepherd dog as the mascot for September’s Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games. the country’s authoritarian president has told officials he’s not satisfied.
COMMENTARY: Belarus: Is Time Running Out For Lukashenka?
In comments about recent public unrest in Belarus, Dmitry Bolkunets, a Belarusian political analyst, told RFE/RL, “People are tired,” and most importantly, in the regions, no longer fear protesting publicly. Former presidential candidate Nikolay Statkevich said the protests have great potential, “since they are based on social problems that the current regime cannot solve.” The country’s economy, “basically a large farm,” needs more subsidies, which Russia could grant, but in exchange for concessions that Lukashenka is afraid to accept. And “there is still the West, which Lukashenka does not want to spoil relations with.” (Russian Service)
THE POWER VERTICAL: Black Cash And Black Ops
Some of the laundered Russian money was used to buy fancy cars. Some of it to purchase furs. Some of it paid for elite prep-school fees. And some of it was spent on real estate.
MOST READ/RUSSIA: Navalny Campaign Makes Moscow Look Helpless
Commenting on recent provocations directed against anti-corruption crusader Alexei Navalny, who has launched his campaign for the presidency ahead of elections in 2018, international relations professor Valery Solovey told RFE/RL that the Kremlin is “obviously” behind the incidents, and that a political revival is beginning in Russia “that overlaps with the crisis at the top, and which is turning against the government and benefiting Mr. Navalny.” (over 40k views on Russian Service website)