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Sacred Space: More Churches, Few Churchgoers In Russia
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Sacred Space: More Churches, Few Churchgoers In Russia


Ruling Party Celebrates Presidential Victory In North Macedonia

North Macedonia’s winning presidential candidate Stevo Pendarovski, who is backed by the governing SDSM party, has promised to push for NATO and European Union membership.

Serbian Antigovernment Protesters Set Up 'Free Zone'

As antigovernment protesters in Belgrade gathered for the 22nd straight weekend, organizers pitched a tent, which they called the "free zone," where they pledged to present independent news and speak to citizens every evening.

Russian MP Opens Fire From Kalashnikov In A Public Street

Dmitry Ionin, a Russian Duma member from the leading United Russia party, fired shots from a Kalashnikov machine gun on a public street in the city of Kamyshlov, in Russia’s west-central Sverdlovsk region. He refused to surrender the weapon to police, claiming immunity. He said it couldn’t fire live ammunition, and that he purchased it as a gift for the Young Army Cadets National Movement. (Russian Service)

'Not My Flag, Not My Country': Leaving Annexed Crimea

It's estimated that tens of thousands of people have left Crimea for the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, since the 2014 annexation of the peninsula by Russia.

INFOGRAPHIC: The Land Of The (Not So) Free Press

Europe is still a haven for free press, according to Reporters Without Borders’ 2019 World Press Freedom index.


Aeroflot Plane Crashes In Moscow, Killing 41

Forty-one people died after a Sukhoi Superjet SSJ100 operated by Russia’s national airline Aeroflot made a fiery emergency landing and burst into flames at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport on May 5.

Lavrov Condemns U.S. Moves To Topple Venezuela's Maduro

Speaking at a meeting on May 5 in Moscow with his Venezuelan counterpart Jorge Arreaza, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov condemned what the Kremlin calls the "irresponsible plans" of the United States in Venezuela, and accused Washington of leading "an unprecedented campaign" to oust the country’s "legitimate authorities."

NATO Chief In Turkey Amid Tensions With U.S. Over Russian Missile System

During a visit to Ankara, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said he encouraged the "ongoing dialogue" between Turkey and the United States over Russia's S-400 surface-to-air missile system. He also welcomed "talks about Turkey's possible acquisition of a U.S. Patriot missile system."

Arctic States Conduct Climate Talks In Finland

Senior officials from the United States, Russia, and other countries bordering the Arctic are opening a two-day meeting in Finland amid growing tensions over how to deal with global warming and rapidly increasing access to mineral wealth in the polar region.

Russia Bans Anonymous Use Of Messenging Platforms

Effective May 5, any user of instant messaging services in Russia must verify his/her phone number and await confirmation from the cell phone operator. If verification is successful, the cell phone operator will register which messenger service their client is using, and the messenger will assign the user a unique code. If the cellular operator does not have the phone number in its database, the messenger is prohibited from authorizing any messages. (Russian Service)

Russia Declares Possible Withdrawal From Convention On Human Rights

Russia’s Permanent Representative to the Council of Europe has declared that his country may withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights and the Council of Europe in response to restrictions placed on Russia by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe after Moscow annexed Crimea in 2014. (in Russian, Current Time TV)

Zelenskiy Says Relations Between Moscow, Kyiv Far From 'Brotherly'

In a rebuke on Facebook to recent comments made by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Ukrainian President-elect Volodymyr Zelenskiy has said that current ties between Kyiv and Moscow cannot be called "brotherly," and the two countries now have little in common outside a shared border.

High Court Backs Czech Hotel Owner's Crimea Test For Russian Guests

Despite death threats, Tomas Krcmar says he doesn't regret denying rooms at his four-star Moravian hotel to Russians unless they acknowledge that Crimea belongs to Ukraine.

Georgian Draft Dodgers Find Loophole In God To Avoid Army

When Georgia's armed forces found Mirian Bezhitadze, he found God.It's not that Bezhitadze is religious. Like thousands of other potential conscripts his age, the 21-year-old is invoking religion to avoid mandatory military service.

Pope Visits Bulgaria Amid Cold Reception From Orthodox Church

Pope Francis has urged Bulgarians to open their hearts and homes to migrants during a visit intended to help bridge enduring tensions between the Orthodox and Roman Catholic branches of Christianity. But the Holy Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church has rejected any possibility of holding joint prayers with him.

Serbian Defense Minister Sparks Controversy By Using Pejorative For Albanians

The president of the National Council of the Albanian Minority in Serbia said he is considering whether to sue Serbian Defense Minister Aleksandar Vulin after the cabinet member openly used a pejorative for ethnic Albanians in a May 1 speech.

Western Diplomats Urge Dushanbe To Allow Open Internet

At an event in Dushanbe devoted to World Press Freedom Day on May 3, foreign diplomats called on Tajikistan's authorities to allow open access to the Internet.

MAJLIS PODCAST: In Central Asia, An Unfree Press Continues To Reign

PRESSROOM: RFE/RL Marks Press Freedom Day Amid Rising Threats Against Its Journalists

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