More Arrests In Yerevan As Opposition Protests Resume
At least 65 people were detained by police early on April 20 when protests resumed in Yerevan against the election of longtime former Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian as prime minister.
Russia Punishes Activist For Throwing Paper Airplanes
Pussy Riot activist Maria Alyokhina has been sentenced to 100 hours of community service for throwing paper airplanes in support of the Telegram messaging app -- which Russia is trying to block.
Ukraine’s 3D Technology Comes To America
The Ukrainian company Kwambio has signed a contract with General Electric for its unique 3D printers, which are able to print ceramic goods and metal parts in one day, vastly improving on traditional methods that can take up to three weeks. The company is also in negotiations with Tesla to create parts for electric cars. (Ukrainian Service, Facebook)
Iranian Official Arrested For Allowing ‘Indecent Moves’
Iran has arrested a Culture Ministry official for “undermining public decency and disrespecting the laws” after people danced in public in the northeastern city of Mashhad, the judiciary said on April 19.
Top Russian, U.S. Military Brass Meet In Baku
Russian top military officer Valery Gerasimov and NATO Supreme Allied Commander Curtis Scaparrotti discussed military activities in Europe and exchanged views on Syria during a rare face-to-face meeting in Azerbaijan on April 19.
U.S. National Security Aide Tells Russia Conditions For Better Ties
New U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton has told Russia’s U.S. ambassador that Moscow must address U.S. concerns about election meddling, the "reckless" nerve-agent attack in Britain, and the situations in Ukraine and Syria before relations can substantially improve.
Lavrov Rejects 'Moral Obligation' To Deny Assad S-300 Missiles
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has suggested that Moscow might supply high-precision S-300 air-defense missiles to Syria in the wake of Western air strikes.
Lavrov Says Novichok Was Used By U.S. Military
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has stated in an interview with state-run Ria Novosti that the nerve agent Novichok was “patented” and “in military service or use” by ”institutes associated with biological and chemical armies of the United States,” adding, “It is very easily made.” Explaining his comment, Lavrov said that one of the substance’s creators, Vil Mirzayanov, immigrated to the U.S. from the Soviet Union and published the formula. (in Russian, Current Time TV)
Yarovaya Law To Require Internet Traffic Data Stored For 30 Days
As part of the package of “anti-terrorism” legislation adopted by the Russian Duma in 2016 and associated with MP Irina Yarovaya, internet service providers and mobile network operators in Russia will be required to store all user traffic, including text messages, voice information, images, audio and video, for one month, effective October 1. In addition, they will be required to increase their storage capacity by 15 percent annually for each of the next five years. (Russian Service)
U.S. Envoy Reacts To Telegram Ruling
Washington’s new charge d’affaires to the OSCE Harry Kamian has expressed “deep concern” about what he called the “continued trend of restricted freedom of expression” in Russia, after authorities limited access to the messaging app Telegram.
Two Russian Officials Kept Hidden Spanish Bungalow, And Prosecutors Backed Them Up
RFE/RL's Russian Service has uncovered Spanish property-registry documents that show that a Moscow-region power couple acquired several properties on the Canary Islands between 2007 and 2010 with an estimated value of at least 1.5 million euros.
Belarus Moves To Tighten Control Over Online Media
The lower house of the Belarusian parliament has approved in its first reading draft amendments to the country’s media law that would tighten control over online news websites and social-media networks.
7:40am -- Good Morning!
[Excerpt from Current Time TV’s daily, first-read for Russian-speaking audiences.]
Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has accused Britain’s Scotland Yard of involvement in the murder of Grigori Rasputin, a mystic close to the family of Tsar Nicholas II -- and the deaths of Russian Tsar Paul I and former leader of the Democratic Republic of Congo Patrice Lumumba. She claims to have reached these conclusions after reading a book by former Scotland Yard agent Richard Cullen.