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Forward/Backwards (RFE/RL Russian Service)

VISUAL REPORTS

Russian Environmental Activists Protest Dump North Of Moscow

Protesters demanded authorities clean up a garbage dump near the Russian town of Klin, north of Moscow, and have condemned plans to expand the dump and build an incinerator.

Crude Cure? Taking The Plunge In An Azerbaijani Petroleum Spa

For more than a century, people have been going to an oil producing town in Azerbaijan to soak in tubs of petroleum. Locals say it helps cure various ailments, but research shows the crude treatment might be more dangerous than it's worth.

'The First Furrow' -- Daghestan's Spring Festival

The holiday of the first furrow is celebrated with races, songs, and dances by the people of western and central Daghestan -- Avars, Dargins and Laks. ​It marks the time when the spring warmth comes and the soil is ready for sowing.

Kyrgyz Kok-Boru Poses Dangers To Man And Beast

The traditional Kyrgyz sport of kok-boru, in which horsemen fight to grab a dead goat, is popular and prestigious, and can be lucrative for top riders. But the game can also bring devastating injuries to the players, and deadly ones to their horses.

OTHER NEWS

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Declares End Of NATO Cooperation

Deputy Foreign Minister Aleksandr Grushko has told Russian media that cooperation with NATO has “completely ceased,” and that NATO is to blame for having “abandoned a positive agenda” with Moscow. He renounced military confrontation, but said that “unintended incidents” resulting from misunderstandings could not be excluded. (Russian Service)

Russian Duma Approves Sovereign-Internet Bill

The lower chamber of Russia's parliament has approved the final vote of a controversial bill that critics say could herald a new era of widespread censorship. The bill must now go to the upper house, the Federation Council, before being signed into law by Putin.

Twitter And Facebook Given Until Year’s End To Comply With Its Demands

Media watchdog Roskomnadzor has announced that Facebook and Twitter have been given nine months to comply with legislation requiring that data on Russian users of the platforms be stored inside Russia. Roskomnadzor fined both Twitter and Facebook approximately $46 in April for noncompliance. (Russian Service)

HRW Warns Against New Russian Law’s Threat To Freedom Of Expression, Assembly

A new draft law would "further jeopardize" freedom of expression and assembly in Russia, Human Rights Watch has warned. A provision criminalizing financing of some public assemblies is one of several amendments to a bill addressing financing of terrorism, extremism, and illicit activities.

Norwegian Jailed By Russia For 14 Years For Spying

A Russian court has sentenced a Norwegian citizen to 14 years in prison on charges of espionage relating to Russia's nuclear submarines in a trial held behind closed doors.

Former Poachers Swap Guns For Cameras To Save Russia's Snow Leopard

Ecologists long suspected the rugged mountains of Central Asia’s Sailyugemsky National Park were prime habitat for the beautiful, endangered, but elusive snow leopard. In 2010, American researcher Rodney Jackson of the Snow Leopard Conservancy donated 20 motion-activated camera traps to his Russian colleagues in hopes of learning more.

Where The Streets Have One Name -- Stalin

All 25 side streets in the Siberian village of Slavyanka are named after the notorious Soviet dictator Josef Stalin. But village head Vyacheslav Zuyev wants more.

Ukrainian Lawmaker Savchenko Released From Prison

Ukrainian lawmaker Nadia Savchenko, who is accused of plotting a terrorist attack on parliament, has been released from jail. Savchenko, a former military helicopter navigator who entered politics after returning home in 2016 following two years in Russian custody, has maintained her innocence.

No Breakthrough Evident At Nagorno-Karabakh Talks In Moscow

The Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers have agreed to press ahead with efforts to end the conflict over Azerbaijan's breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region, but no major progress was evident after a meeting in Moscow.

Germany's Merkel Urged To Tackle Rights Situation In Talks With Kyrgyz President

Kyrgyz President Sooronbai Jeenbekov is due to hold talks in Berlin on April 16 with Chancellor Angela Merkel amid calls by activists for the German leader to press for improvement in the Central Asian country's human rights situation.

Tajik President, Putin, To Meet

Tajik President Emomali Rahmon will pay an official visit to Moscow on April 16-17 at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Both sides expect to agree to improve the supply of Tajik agricultural goods to Russia and strengthen cooperation in the migration sector.

Residents Of Kazakh Town Eagerly Await Russian-Built Nuclear Plant

In Ulken, a village in southeastern Kazakhstan where Russian President Vladimir Putin has offered to help build a nuclear power plant utilizing “Russian technologies,” almost everybody supports the idea, viewing it as an opportunity to end the region’s bleak economic situation. (in Russian, Kazakh Service)

Russia's Gazprom Resumes Buying Turkmen Gas After Three-Year Halt

Russia's state-owned energy giant Gazprom says it has resumed imports of natural gas from Turkmenistan that it stopped three years ago.No details were given about the amount of gas that Russia would buy or at what price.

POLL: Stalin Commands Respect Among Fifty Percent Of Russians

In a new Levada center poll, 41% of respondents expressed respect for Josef Stalin, the highest approval rating accorded the dictator since the pollster began conducting sociological surveys in 2001. Six percent expressed sympathy and 4% expressed admiration. (in Russian, Current Time TV)

PRESSROOM: Havel Journalism Fellows Tackle Media Challenges In Eastern Europe, Russia

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