U.S. Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman spoke to RFE/RL on April 12 about the recent arrests of members of religious minorities in Russia, and hopes for a democratic outcome in Ukraine’s forthcoming presidential election.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko went to Kyiv's Olimpiyskiy Stadium for a presidential election debate, but his challenger didn't show up after a disagreement over the timing.
Sea Shield 2019, an annual Romanian-led naval exercise, continued in the Black Sea on April 12, with more than 20 ships and crews from Romania, Bulgaria, Canada, Greece, the Netherlands, and Turkey. The drill took place amid increased tensions in the Black Sea region after Russia's capture of three Ukrainian naval vessels in November.
Thousands of Serbian demonstrators marched through the center of Belgrade on April 13 for the latest, and what organizers hoped would be the biggest, outpouring of opposition following months of protest against President Aleksandar Vucic.
Kosovars marked the 20th anniversary of the wartime expulsion by Serbian forces of hundreds of thousands of ethnic Albanians from Kosovo.
A Russian judge has ordered a "comprehensive" evaluation of financial, artistic, and other evidence brought against theater director Kirill Serebrennikov and his co-defendants, in what appeared to be a victory for the defense in the high-profile case.
Estonia’s interior ministry has issued a 5-year Schengen visa ban to Yelena Yerofeyeva and Pavel Kostrikov, two Russian journalists working for the state-run VGTRK who, the ministry says, were tasked with producing a report “making fun of the activities of the religious organization [Jehovah’s Witnesses] and inciting hostility towards it.” (Russian Service)
Russian media reports that the Sevmorzavod ship building plant in Sevastopol will begin repairing ships of the Russian Black Sea fleet. The plant previously belonged to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, but was nationalized by Russia-backed authorities in 2015 following Moscow’s annexation of Crimea. (Russian Service)
Moscow is set to host the Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers on April 15 for talks on the conflict over Azerbaijan's breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh.
The European Parliament is scheduled to hold a plenary session on April 15 to discuss the rule-of-law situation in EU member Romania. European Commission First Vice President Frans Timmermans had warned Romania's leftist government on April 3 that Brussels will act swiftly if Bucharest does not take real action toward reform.
Lawmakers in Republika Srpska, Bosnia's Serb entity, are set to vote on April 16 on a series of public-order laws that, among other things, would ban people from taking or distributing videos and photos of public servants, including police and security officials, while they are performing their duties.
At least five police officers and dozens of opposition activists were injured in clashes with police in the Albanian capital, as demonstrators called for the resignation of Prime Minister Edi Rama's government.
The eldest daughter of Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoev has been appointed deputy head of the newly established presidential Press and Information Agency that oversees communications and media regulation.
Medical services in Tajikistan are officially free, and 30% of the population lives below the poverty line, but residents pay on average about $22 per year for medical certificates, examinations, and preferential treatment by doctors. (in Russian, Current Time TV)