The presidents of Iran, Turkey, and Russia have expressed determination to "speed up their efforts to ensure calm on the ground" in Syria, saying after a summit in Ankara on April 4 that they are committed to achieving a "lasting cease-fire."
“No Questions? No “-- how Russia adopted the law on appearing in military enlistment centers without summonses. (Current Time TV Facebook)
As a consequence of Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, the Ukrainian Navy lost several ships in its maritime fleet. Although the United States proposed three years ago to provide two U.S. Coast Guard Island-class patrol boats to Kyiv, for a total cost of $10 million, the transfer has not yet taken place. RFE/RL’s Schemes team investigates why. (Ukrainian Service Facebook)
The presidents of Turkey, Russia, and Iran are meeting on April 4 in Ankara for their second three-way summit on Syria. However, this isn't the only topic they'll probably discuss.
Russia has lost a vote by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons for a new joint British-Russian investigation into the nerve-agent attack against former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter. Britain's delegation to the OPCW’s April 4 meeting called Moscow's proposal "perverse."
Russia will appeal to the UN Security Council on April 5 for an international investigation into the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal, one day after losing a bid for a joint investigation by the global chemical weapons watchdog.
Outgoing White House National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster has called for stronger measures against Russia, and said that President Vladimir Putin is mistaken in thinking the West will not push back against the Kremlin's "hybrid warfare."
It's a meeting to chart a future for Syria, featuring the major players involved in the country's brutal seven years of war. But the United States will not be there.
Russian lawmakers on April 3 approved in the first of three readings a bill that would oblige draft-age men to report for military service even if they have not received a conscription notice. The legislation appears aimed at improving conscription rates in Russia, where some 164,000 men are reportedly evading the draft.
Russia’s State Duma on April 5 adopted a bill allowing the blocking of content that discredits an individual’s or organization’s honor and dignity if the author fails to comply with a court order to remove it. The legislation is related to an incident last February when Russia’s media regulator Roskomnadzor sought to block a report by Alexei Navalny on YouTube after Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska claimed that it was defamatory. (in Russian, Current Time TV)
Reporters Without Borders has condemned what it called "the growing trend" among major Russian television channels of playing down or even ignoring bad news, citing, as one example, the major networks’ half-day silence on the deadly shopping mall fire in the Siberian city of Kemerovo last month.
One man has been killed and six firefighters injured in a fire that broke out at Moscow’s Persei Dlya Detei (Perseus For Children) shopping center, a mall specializing in children’s goods, on April 4.
The U.S. State Department and European Union representatives have urged Ukrainian officials to repeal e-declaration requirements for anti-corruption activists that the Parliament failed to abolish in a session on April 3.
Russian media reports that authorities in Russia-annexed Crimea have launched Media Guard, a project designed to enlist young children in “debunking propaganda” about Crimea on the internet. (Crimea Realities website)
The Committee to Protect Journalists has called on Ukrainian authorities to “immediately” suspend extradition procedures against, and return the Dutch passport of, journalist Fikret Huseynli, who fled his homeland of Azerbaijan a decade ago.
As the arrest and deportation of six Turkish nationals from Kosovo to Turkey threaten to drive a wedge between the two countries, a crisis between Kosovo’s prime minister and president may also be deepening.
Turkmenistan is prohibiting the Import and sale of women’s swimwear, specifically bikini bathing suits and shorts, banning such goods from crossing the country’s borders. There has been no official explanation of the ban, but one customs agent told RFE/RL it is part of an effort to protect the “moral standards of Turkmen.” (in Russian, Turkmen Service)