Most respondents to an informal street poll in Moscow expressed little sympathy for the oligarchs and proposals that the government help them, insisting that support be directed to small business and ordinary people, or to help the country’s leading industries, rather than those who own them. (Russian Service)
Ukraine’s National Security Council press service reports the testing of a new “Vilha” missile complex that surpasses the Russian analogue “Smerch.” (Ukrainian Service)
A bust of Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin sculpted with a curiously small head was removed from its plinth in the Serbian capital, Belgrade, after it drew ridicule on social media. March 27 marked the 50th anniversary of the first cosmonaut’s death. Belgrade officials said a new monument would be designed in honor of the Soviet hero. (Balkan Service)
The Tenge, Kazakhstan’s national currency, has reacted to recent sanctions against Russia and begun falling rapidly against the U.S. dollar, which has gained no less than 9 points in currency exchange markets. (Current Time TV)
Five of the weirdest creations that ever flew, skimmed, or twisted their way across the Soviet Union.
[Excerpt from Current Time TV’s daily, first-read for Russian-speaking audiences.]
In an address to the State Duma today, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev reportedly plans to assure deputies of an “absolutely stable” economic situation. But the ruble is falling, dragging the Kazakh currency along with it; Bloomberg reports that Russia’s richest have lost about $16 billion; the government is planning to open offshores in Kaliningrad; and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko says sanctions against Russia’s oligarchs are on the way.
Voters in Azerbaijan are heading to the polls for a snap presidential election boycotted by the main opposition parties and widely expected to give authoritarian President Ilham Aliyev a fourth consecutive term.
Russia's UN ambassador pleaded with the United States not to stage a military strike against Syria after the UN Security Council deadlocked over proposals for a response to a suspected chemical weapons attack outside Damascus.
Opposition politician Ilya Yashin has announced his intention to run for Moscow mayor in elections planned for September this year. In a video announcement, Yashin called the policies of incumbent mayor Sergei Sobyanin “hostile and barbaric,” and, acknowledging other candidates from the democratic camp, said he’d be willing to participate in a primary poll. (in Russian, Current Time TV)
Russia’s investigative committee has opened a criminal negligence case against Sergei Genin, the commander of a fire brigade that fought to extinguish a deadly fire at a shopping center in Kemerovo on March 25, on grounds that the brigade’s actions led to the deaths of 37 persons. Sixty-four people officially perished in the blaze. (in Russian, Current Time TV)
Russia and Egypt are slated to resume direct flights on April 11 after a more than two-year suspension prompted by the bombing of a Russian charter plane over the Sinai Peninsula in 2015.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that a new natural-gas pipeline linking Russia with Germany cannot go ahead without clarity on Ukraine's role as a gas transit route.
Serbian nationalist politician Vojislav Seselj will learn on April 11 whether a United Nations court will uphold an appeal against his acquittal on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Authorities in Tajikistan have lodged a formal request for Turkey to extradite two Tajik opposition politicians who were detained in Istanbul on March 19.
The value of the U.S. dollar is once again rising on the black market in Turkmenistan, trading for 14 manat on April 10, while the official exchange rate for one dollar is 3.5 manat. (in Russian, Turkmen Service)
Contempt shown by governments for independent institutions and civil society, attacks on the political opposition and independent media, as well as an incessant push to blend the ruling party with the state are becoming the new normal in postcommunist Europe and Eurasia, U.S.-based democracy monitor Freedom House warns in its latest report.