Azerbaijan's Central Election Commission installed web cameras at more than 1,000 polling stations across the country for the April 11 presidential vote to make "the activity of the commission...transparent to voters.” They did just that.
Two opposition lawmakers in Armenia have ignited smoke flares in parliament to protest plans to elect former President Serzh Sarkisian as prime minister.
Fifty-nine year-old plumber Anatoly Kartashov spends his spare moments looking out for everyone in his community.
Local communists met with school children in Sevastopol on the occasion of Cosmonautics Day to accept a few new members into the party’s youth ranks and launch a balloon carrying a paper rocket. (Crimea Realities Website)
Azerbaijan's authoritarian president, Ilham Aliyev, has secured a landslide victory in a snap presidential election that was boycotted by the main opposition parties. The Central Election Commission said Aliyev received 86 percent of the vote with 94 percent of votes counted. Official turnout was 74.5 percent.
While Russia’s Foreign Ministry declared "There will be a response," after the U.S. on April 6 announced sanctions targeting seven of Russia's wealthiest businessmen and 17 government officials, some experts say that Moscow has few, if any, economic levers to pull.
The websites of several Russian firms targeted in the latest round of U.S. sanctions have gone dark for unclear reasons following Washington's announcement of the punitive measures.
Russia’s Roskomnadzor has petitioned a Moscow court to implement a block of the Telegram messenger without delay, if the court rules in favor of the regulator’s lawsuit against the app for failure to share its encryption codes with the Federal Security Service. The court plans to hear the case on April 13; the ban could go into effect the same day. (in Russian, Current Time TV)
State oil giant CEO Igor Sechin is to testify on April 12 in the appeals case of former Russian Economy Minister Aleksei Ulyukayev, who has been sentenced to eight years in prison for bribery.
During a meeting of a newly convened commission of historians last month, Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov emphasized the region’s role in “serving Russia.” He declared "those who really studied the history of the Chechens know that our ancestors faithfully served the Fatherland, Russia, never betrayed their oath, and in times of difficulty they were among the first to defend their country.” (in Russian, Caucasus Realities)
Ukraine’s Fatherland party says its leader, former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, has refused to work with the U.S. lobbying firm Avenue Strategies, alleging the company was hired and paid for by a Delaware firm at a monthly rate of $65,000 without her knowledge. (Ukrainian Service)
Serbian parents who say their newborn children were illegally taken from them in maternity hospitals protested draft legislation in front of the parliament in Belgrade on April 11.
Macedonia's government has survived a no-confidence motion initiated by the conservative opposition, which accused it of mishandling relations with neighboring countries while failing to control corruption or halt economic stagnation.
A group of Kyrgyz lawmakers has called for a thorough investigation into a violent protest that has hit a southern district over plans to build a new mining facility.
Cosmonautics Day is celebrated on April 12 each year in Russia. It is a holiday dedicated to the first manned space flight in 1961, when Yuri Gagarin orbited the Earth on board the Vostok-1 spaceship.