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RFE/RL Journalists Among Dozens Dead In Kabul Bombings
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On World Press Freedom Day, RFE/RL Says Targeting Of Journalists Must Stop


Estonia’s ‘Hedgehog’ Maneuvers Get Underway

Estonia’s largest military exercises in its history are underway, fielding 15,000 troops joined by 2000 personnel from 15 NATO countries. Titled “Hedgehog,” the drills target an imaginary aggressor country named Murinus, which is located along the borders of Russia and Belarus and seeks to destabilize Estonia and divide NATO allies. (Current Time TV)

Pause Called In Armenian Protests After Ruling Party Changes Stance

Armenian protest leader Nikol Pashinian has called for a pause in the country’s massive three-week-long demonstrations after the ruling Republican Party (HHK) indicated that it might support him for prime minister in a May 8 parliamentary vote.

Saratov Communists Rally On May Day

Communists in the Russia’s southeastern region of Saratov marked the May Day holiday with a rally, calling for the “international solidarity of workers,” Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s resignation, and imprisonment of President Vladimir Putin. (Russian Service Facebook)

Afghans Head To Opium Poppy Harvest

Afghans heading to take part in the opium harvest tell RFE/RL they have no other way of making a living.

Why Independent Media Matters

To mark World Press Freedom Day on May 3, RFE/RL journalists from Iran, Russia, Ukraine and Afghanistan spoke about why independent media matters to them.


Russia Threatens To Block Viber Messaging App

Russia's communications minister, Nikolai Nikiforov, says a court may move to block the Viber messaging app if, like the Telegram messaging service, it refuses to provide encryption keys to the Federal Security Service.

Kremlin, Despite Military Ventures, Made Deep Cuts In Defense Spending In 2017

In a report issued May 1, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute said Western sanctions and a long recession forced Russia's military to slash spending by 20 percent last year. Military spending reached a post-Cold War high elsewhere around the world in 2017, led by the United States, China, and Saudi Arabia.

Two Russian Pilots Killed In Fighter Jet Crash In Syria

The Russian Defense Ministry says a Sukhoi-30 fighter jet crashed in Syria on May 3, killing two pilots aboard.

Russian Asylum Applications In U.S. Hit 24-Year Record

The number of asylum applications by Russian citizens in the United States hit a 24-year high in 2017, jumping nearly 40 percent from the previous year and continuing an upward march that began after Russian President Vladimir Putin returned to the Kremlin in 2012.

Russian Olympic Chief Steps Down After Ban In Pyeongchang

The head of the Russian Olympic Committee is stepping down from his post, three months after athletes from his country were forced to compete at the Pyeongchang Olympics as neutral athletes.

Chechen Supreme Court To Hear Case Of Rights Activist Titiyev

The Supreme Court of the Chechen Republic will hear an appeal on May 3 in the case of Oyub Titiyev, a prominent human rights defender who has spent nearly four months in detention on drug charges that associates say were fabricated.

U.S. Doubles Financial Support For Ukraine’s Cyber Defense

Following a meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Kyiv on May 2, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasia Wess Mitchell said the U.S. will double the amount of financial assistance to Ukraine for cyber security from $5 to $10 million. (Ukrainian Service)

Following Annexation, Russia Seized 500 Radio Frequencies In Crimea

Ukraine’s Ministry of Information disclosed on May 3 that Russia seized more than 500 frequencies from Ukrainian broadcasters following the 2014 annexation of Crimea, and is offering them for broadcasting on the peninsula. The ministry has called the expropriation “the height of cynicism” and a violation of international conventions, and said the frequencies belong to Ukraine.” (Crimea Realities website)

Georgian President Calls For 'Strategic Tolerance' Of Russia

Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili has lashed out at the country's government on domestic issues and urged it to stick to what he called a "policy of strategic tolerance" in relations with Russia.

Uzbek Journalist Faces Five Years In Prison

A prosecutor has asked a court in Tashkent to sentence independent journalist Bobomurod Abdullaev to five years in prison for allegedly plotting to overthrow the Uzbek government.

Blacklisted Uzbek Gets Assurances Of Due Process If He Returns

Muhiddin Saifulloev, who fled Uzbekistan 13 years ago to evade accusations of involvement in religiously motivated crimes, has received a "Letter Of Guarantee" from local police and a note from a district police chief in Samarkand province that he would be given the chance to clear his name if he returns home.

Bozor Sobir, Tajik Poet And Former Opposition Figure, Dies

Bozor Sobir, a prominent Tajik emigre poet who was once a leading member of an opposition party in the Central Asian country, has died in the United States at the age of 79.

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