Ukraine Truce Violations At 'Worrying Levels'
The security situation in eastern Ukraine is worsening, with cease-fire violations at their highest level in months, warned the head of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine on April 28.
Activists from the St. Petersburg chapter of the liberal Yabloko party held flowers and signs to mark 15 years since the “death” of the “old” NTV channel which, during Russia’s experiment with pluralism in the 1990s, was a leading source of independent news and commentary. (Russian Service)
Kazakh Police Break Up Activists' News Conference
Police in Almaty, Kazakhstan shut down a news conference called by activists who were discussing plans for protests in the city. About a dozen activists were detained when police intervened on April 29 outside Almaty's Press Club.
New Kyrgyz Maximum-Security Prison Opens In Bishkek
Kyrgyzstan has opened a new maximum-security prison in the capital, Bishkek.
U.S. F-22 Jets Land In Lithuania
The U.S. Air Force landed two of its most advanced jets in Lithuania for the first time on April 27 in a show of support for a region worried by Russian aggression in Ukraine.
Ukraine Demands Stronger Cease-Fire
Ukraine told the UN Security Council on April 28 that its cease-fire with separatists in the east must be strengthened before progress can be achieved on a political solution to the two-year conflict.
Russian Nationalists Attack Students Over World War II Portrayal
The nationalists, some in military uniform, attacked attendees of a Moscow ceremony for high school history students on April 28, hurling eggs and spraying them with a green liquid for what they called a foreign-sponsored attempt to rewrite Russia's history.
Vostochny Cosmodrome Developer To Go To Prison
Igor Nesterenko, head of the Pacific Bridge Building Company that built the Cosmodrome, was sentenced to 3.3 years in prison on April 28 for stealing $1.6 million from the company. The chairman of the company’s board of directors was also found guilty of stealing funds. (In Russian/Current Time TV)
Two Thirds Of Russians Seek Help From Above
A poll by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center finds that 67 percent of Russians appeal to God in their daily lives, an increase of 18 percent since 1991, and every second Russian believes in religious miracles. (In Russian/Current Time TV)
Shuster, Saakashvili Spearhead Press Freedom Committee
Former security chief Valentyn Nalyvaichenko has joined the journalist and Odesa governor as founding members of the group, which aims to compel the government to respond more forcefully to “systemic pressure on journalists of independent media.” (In Ukrainian)
The European Union Court in Strasbourg on April 29 will begin its review of a complaint by former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and his son Oleksandr about EU sanctions that froze their assets and accounts in Europe following the 2014 Maidan revolution. (In Ukrainian)
Georgia Military Considers Reform
In conformity with NATO practices, Georgia’s defense ministry has announced that it may cancel the country’s military draft and replace it with a professional army and reservists, effective 2017. (In Russian/Current Time TV)
European TV Channel Puts Controversial Magnitsky Film On Hold
ARTE European is suspending plans to air a controversial new documentary next week on Sergei Magnitsky, the lawyer who helped uncover a massive tax fraud case in Russia and later died in a Russian jail, due to complaints about its accuracy.
COMMENTARY: Vostochny’s Second Try
Prominent Skolkovo Foundation researcher Sergey Zhukov told RFE/RL that Russia built the new cosmodrome for political reasons, not military ones, and that Russia will not abandon the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan any time soon. (In Russian)