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We Have “Iskander,” “Avangard,” and “Tsirkon” Missiles, And We Have Bath Bombs, Too

VISUAL REPORTS

No Joke: TV Comic Leads Ukrainian Presidential Race

The star of a Ukrainian TV comedy about a teacher who becomes president is leading opinion polls in the real-life race to become the country's president.

Firefighters Battle Massive Fire At Mall In Baku

A massive fire has broken out in a shopping mall in Baku's Nizami district. So far no deaths have been reported, and the cause of the blaze is unknown.

Russian City Remembers Mall Fire Victims

Residents of the Russian city of Kemerovo laid flowers and stuffed toys at a memorial to the victims of the catastrophic blaze at the Zimnyaya Vishnya mall on March 25 last year that killed 60 people, including 37 children.

'Undesirable Elements': How Stalin Deported Nearly 100,000 From The Baltics

On March 25, 1949, the Soviet government deported nearly 100,000 people from occupied Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania to Siberia.

OTHER NEWS

Stoltenberg Invokes NATO’s Open-Door Policy, And Says Georgia Will Join

During a visit to Georgia, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has again said that the South Caucasus country will eventually join the Western military alliance, despite the Kremlin's fierce opposition.

Russia And Turkey To Consider Visa-Free Travel

Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has told reporters that Turkey and Russia are considering lifting visa requirements between the two countries, allowing citizens to cross borders using their internal passports. Further discussions are expected during bilateral meetings planned in Antalya on March 28. (in Russian, Current Time TV)

Facebook Removes Hundreds Of Accounts From Russia, Iran, Balkans

Facebook says it has removed a total of 2,632 pages, groups, and accounts from Russia, Iran, Northern Macedonia, and Kosovo, citing what it described on March 26 as "coordinated inauthentic behavior."

Price Tag For Russia’s ‘Sovereign Internet’ Rises

The Russian NGO Data Economy estimates that the costs of building a “sovereign internet” in Russia will likely reach upwards of $457 million rather than $311 million, as originally proposed. Earlier this month, Russia’s Federation Council proposed to finance the project from the federal budget to protect internet providers from additional costs. (Russian Service)

First Russian Punished Under Law Against Encouraging Minors To Protest

In a ruling late on March 25, a court in the Baltic port city of Kaliningrad ruled that 18-year-old Ivan Luzin violated the law by involving two 16-year-old girls in an unsanctioned demonstration and fined him 30,000 rubles ($465).

Demonstrators In Ingushetia Protest Referendum On Border Change

Nearly 10,000 people gathered in Magas, the capital of the Russian Republic of Ingushetia, to protest the rules governing a referendum to change the borders between Ingushetia and Chechnya, as agreed by the two territories leaders last year. Protesters are demanding the resignation of Ingush leader Yunus-Bek Yevkurov and the dissolution of the parliament. (in Russian, Current Time TV)

Police In Belarus Block Opposition Rally

Police in MInsk have prevented several hundred opposition activists from holding a rally marking the 101st anniversary of the country’s proclaimed independence from Russia in 2018. At least a dozen people were detained.

Kurapaty Memorial in Belarus Vandalized

The Investigative Committee of Belarus has launched a probe into vandalism of a memorial site at Kurapaty, a wooded area on the outskirts of Minsk, where at least 30,000 people were killed and buried by Soviet authorities in 1930s and 1940s. Activists discovered on March 23 that at least two of the site’s memorial stones were covered with anti-Semitic and other insulting inscriptions made with blue paint.

Serbian Accusation Lingers Of Link Between NATO Bombing, Health Woes

Serbian lawmaker Darko Laketic, head of the Commission for Researching Health Impacts of the NATO Bombing, has asserted a clear connection between the Western security alliance's 78-day bombing campaign and a rise in cancer-related disease in children born in the subsequent two decades. The problem is, others don't see the correlation -- or have yet to be shown it.

Kazakhstan's BTA Bank Files New Lawsuit Targeting Ex-Trump Associate

The Kazakh bank immersed in a multinational fight to recoup assets allegedly stolen more than a decade ago has filed a new U.S. lawsuit, alleging that Felix Sater, a former associate of U.S. President Donald Trump, considered using funds from those assets to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.

Uzbekistan, U.A.E. Sign $10 Billion Worth Of Agreements

Uzbekistan and the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) have reportedly signed $10 billion worth of agreements on cooperation in investment and finance, renewable energy, industry and infrastructure development, agriculture, and other fields.

JOURNALISTS IN TROUBLE: CPJ Urges Turkmenistan To Stop 'Systematic Harassment' Of Independent Journalists

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has urged Turkmenistan to immediately lift a travel ban imposed on veteran correspondent Soltan Achilova and allow her to travel freely outside the Central Asian country.

JOURNALISTS IN TROUBLE: Polish Journalist Dedicates Award To Ukrainian Blogger Stanislav Aseyev

Polish journalist Monika Andruszewska has dedicated an award she received from the Polish Union of Journalists to Stanislav Aseyev, a contributor to RFE/RL’s Ukrainian Service who has been held virtually incommunicado by Russia-backed separatists in Donetsk since June 2017. Andruszewska said “nothing is known about Aseyev and he is forgotten about.” (Ukrainian Service)

JOURNALISTS IN TROUBLE: RFE/RL Journalists In Kazakhstan Targeted While Covering Protests

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