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Russian Journalists Unite; Ukraine’s Parliament Dismissed; RFE’s Belarus Service Is 65

LISTEN: RFE’s First Belarus-Language Broadcast, 65 Years Ago

VISUAL REPORTS

Judges In Armenia Take The Side Door -- And Windows -- To Get To Court

Citizens in Yerevan blocked have courthouse entrances in support of Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian’s call for radical judicial reform. Armenia's leading opposition forces have denounced the blockade, saying it violates a constitutional ban on outside interference in the work of the judiciary.

Restoring Grozny's Christian Cemetery

A Chechen man IS helping Russians locate and repair their family graves in Grozny's war-scarred and neglected Christian cemetery.

PHOTOGALLERY: Zelenskiy Sworn In As Ukraine's New President

Volodymyr Zelenskiy took the oath of office as the president of Ukraine on May 20.

OTHER NEWS

Russian FSB Chief Warns Of IS Threat From Afghanistan

In a May 21 visit to Tajikistan, the head of Russia's Federal Security Service said that militants from the extremist group Islamic State have been amassing in northern Afghanistan, near its borders with former Soviet republics in Central Asia.

UN Security Council Rejects Russian Request For Ukraine Meeting

The UN Security Council has rejected a Russian request to hold a meeting on a new language law in Ukraine, after the proposal garnered only four of the nine votes it needed from the 15-member council.

Zelenskiy Reaches Deal With Parliamentarians On Early Elections

A May 21 meeting of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and lawmakers has resulted in an agreement to dissolve the parliament and hold early elections, tentatively in late July. Zelenskiy cited the lack of a ruling coalition and low public confidence as grounds for his call to dismiss the body. (in Russian, Current Time TV)

Scores Of Russian Journalists Sign Letter In Support Of Free Speech

More than 180 journalists at the prominent Russian newspaper Kommersant have signed an open letter to readers saying the country "deserved freedom of speech," one day after almost a dozen Kommersant news reporters quit their jobs in solidarity with two colleagues who were fired over a report of a possible leadership change in parliament.

Church Construction Stalled In Two Russian Cities After Yekaterinburg Protests

Officials in two Russian cities have suspended or scrapped plans to construct religious buildings after a project to build a church in the Urals city of Yekaterinburg triggered several days of protests.

Navalny Aide Volkov Arrested, Charged Over Unsanctioned Rally

Leonid Volkov, a senior aide to Russian opposition politician Aleksei Navalny, says he has been arrested and charged with repeatedly violating regulations for holding public events. Volkov helped organize a September rally against the government's decision to raise the retirement age.

Jailed Rights Defender Titiyev Requests Early Release In Chechnya

Jailed Chechen human rights activist Oyub Titiyev has filed a request for early release. Titiyev, 61, was found guilty in March this year of illegal drug possession, a conviction he says is absurd, and sentenced to four years in a penal colony.

Russian Lawyer Uses 'Rehabilitation' Laws To Force Confrontation With Stalinism

For the last seven years, Aleksandr Busarov has been quietly waging a campaign to bring closed archival materials into the light and push a reluctant Russian government to formulate a coherent condemnation of Stalin.

Russian Judge Reportedly Forced To Resign Over Topless Selfie

A Russian judge who showed leniency toward two teenagers charged with plotting to overthrow the government has reportedly been forced to resign after a topless selfie of her was obtained by superiors who were critical of her ruling.

North Macedonia To Hold First Gay-Pride Parade Next Month

The North Macedonian capital is set to host on June 29 what activists have described as the Balkan country's first gay-pride parade.

Kazakh Protesters Demand Debt Relief Ahead Of Snap Elections

A May 21 rally in Almaty of homeowners, mainly women, demanding debt forgiveness and other state support for people in financial need was the latest signal of concern about economic hardships faced by citizens in energy-rich Kazakhstan.

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