Coronavirus cases in Russia increased by 11,656 in the last 24 hours, the country’s largest number of new documented infections in a single day. The country now ranks third globally, with a total of 221,344 infected people. Moscow is registering the country’s highest concentration of cases and a 20 percent rise in fatalities this April compared with the month’s average over the past 10 years. Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to address the country later on May 11. (Russian Service)
Russian funeral homes and undertakers have been adapting to new regulations governing the burial or cremation of COVID-19 victims. Meanwhile, mourners are being offered the chance to attend funeral services online. (video)
Human Rights Council Official Rejects Order Requiring Med Students To Practice At Hospitals Treating Covid-19
In late April, Russia issued an order requiring senior students at medical universities to practice in hospitals treating patients with the coronavirus. Deputy Chairman of the Russian Human Rights Council Irina Kirkora has called the order a “violation” of students’ rights, and said that students should be entitled to choose whether or not to work in such facilities. (Russian Service)
The Ukrainian government promised that all medical personnel would be tested for COVID-19 once every five days, but doctors have told RFE/RL that has not happened. Medics also said that there were shortages of protective gear and that government promises of increased pay have not been met.
Thousands of people came out on May 9 to watch soldiers, military vehicles, and aircraft on display in central Minsk as part of celebrations marking the defeat of Nazi Germany 75 years ago. One day before the parade, Belarus announced that the next presidential election will be held on August 9. (video)
Hiding cases of coronavirus is no longer the sole problem Turkmen officials would face if they let the WHO delegation visit. There is also the matter of the eastern Lebap province’s quarantine camps.
Veteran Almaty-based reporter Joanna Lillis; Kyrgyz physician Dr. Nursultan Masylbekov; and RFE/RL Uzbek Service Director Alisher Sidikov joined the discussion.
Russia's Foreign Ministry has expressed "extreme indignation" at a U.S. statement on May 8 that seemed to ascribe the victory over Nazi Germany in 1945 to the United States and Britain. "On the eve of a sacred holiday, American officials did not have the courage and the desire to at least hint at the indubitable role and colossal losses that the Red Army and the Soviet people brought in the name of all humanity," the Russian statement said.
President Vladimir Putin marked Victory Day calling for unity and a dignified honoring of those killed during World War II, even as the coronavirus pandemic curtailed the pomp the Kremlin had planned for Russia’s most important secular holiday.
An estimated 25 million Soviet citizens perished in the titanic conflict with Nazi Germany between June 1941 and May 1945. But the Soviet Union was never alone: months before the United States formally entered the war, it had already begun providing massive military and economic assistance to its Soviet ally through the Lend-Lease program.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree banning members of the armed forces from carrying smartphones, tablets, and other gadgets capable of recording and storing information while on duty.
Georgia summoned its ambassador to Ukraine back to Tbilisi in a sign of its displeasure over Kyiv’s decision to name former President Mikheil Saakashvili to head the executive committee of Ukraine’s National Reform Council.
The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that Azerbaijan failed to protect investigative reporter Khadija Ismayilova’s right to privacy, saying the country’s courts should have sanctioned a local newspaper for an article making salacious claims and commentary about her private and sexual life.
The Serbian government has protested to the European Union after one of the bloc's educational websites described inventor Nikola Tesla as a "famous Croatian." Tesla was an ethnic Serb born under the former Austrian Empire in what is now Croatia. His ethnicity is a near-constant source of friction among former Yugoslav republics Serbia and Croatia.
The OSCE representative on freedom of the media, Harlem Desir, has welcomed a May 6 decision by the lower house of Kazakhstan’s parliament to decriminalize defamation, calling it an “important step forward.”
RFE/RL experts joined the German Marshall Fund and its Frontlines of Democracy Initiative to discuss the amplified challenges now facing Russian President Vladimir Putin and the potential consequences for Russia’s future.