Ahead of May 9 Victory Day celebrations, parades of “preschool troops,” organized by local authorities, took place in several Russian cities. Some parents endorsed the activities in social media posts, while others criticized authorities for forcing children to participate and refused to allow their children to take part. (Russian Service)
Dozens of people have been detained by police recently as protests have grown across Kazakhstan. One man tried a more novel approach, to no avail.
Saratov in central Russia is considered the cradle of the Russian gas industry. But despite the city's wealth in resources, some locals still live in barracks built more than 70 years by German prisoners as temporary housing.
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, numerous cities and streets have been renamed, and statues have been destroyed to forget the past. But many Russians still have nostalgia for some of the most ruthless leaders.
The Pamir Mountains of northern Tajikistan are sometimes known as "the roof of the world." Isolated by the rugged terrain, the Pamiri people who live there have preserved some of the Zoroastrian traditions that preceded the advent of Islam.
Aeroflot has canceled or delayed more than a half-dozen flights that used the Sukhoi Superjet, days after 41 people were killed in a crash-landing at a Moscow airport.
Russia’s Investigative Committee has said it would grant a request from Warsaw allowing Polish investigators to examine the wreckage of a Polish plane that crashed in the Russian city of Smolensk in 2010, an incident that killed Poland’s then-President Lech Kaczynski and 95 other people.
Sweden's Foreign Ministry says two of its diplomats have been expelled from Russia following a move by Stockholm to deny visas to two of Moscow’s envoys. The expulsion, announced on May 8, was another blow to relations following an earlier diplomatic dispute over alleged Russian spying in the Nordic country.
A new Human Rights Watch report finds that authorities in the Russian region of Chechnya renewed a campaign of intimidation and torture against gays and bisexual men earlier this year, corroborating many earlier claims from Russian activists of a new "gay purge."
International media freedom watchdogs said they were “appalled” by a brutal attack on Ukrainian journalist Vadym Komarov, and urged the country’s authorities to do their utmost to ensure that it does not go unpunished.
Ahead of Victory Day, 77 teenagers pledged allegiance to the Russia-backed separatist group “Donetsk People’s Republic,” a military-patriotic organization for youth modeled after Russia’s own “Young Guard.” The leader of occupied Donetsk congratulated the kids, telling them the day would be “one of the most important” in their lives” (Ukrainian Service/Donbas Realities)
Montenegro's High Court has convicted 14 Russians, Serbs, and Montenegrins on terrorism charges and creating a criminal organization as part of an October 2016 coup attempt aimed at derailing the country's NATO membership bid.
The website of RFE/RL's Kazakh Service and those of several online news companies have been inaccessible in Kazakhstan since early in the morning of May 9.
A Levada Center poll finds that an absolute majority of Russians, 77%, believes that state officials do not declare all their property and income, or declare a small or negligible part of it. The number is stable since 2010. Russia brought 13 criminal cases against federal officials and deputies in 2018, a record since 1992, but only 34% of respondents are satisfied with such cases. (in Russian, Current Time TV)