VOX POP: What Could Be Expected From A Meeting Between Putin And Trump?
Respondents to an informal street poll in Moscow expressed the hope, overwhelmingly, that such a meeting would improve relations, leading to the end of wars in Syria and Ukraine, and lifting of sanctions. One respondent said she hoped the U.S. would recognize Russia’s claim to Crimea, and another wished that better relations might bring relief to Russia’s pensioners. (Russian Service)
Moldovan Police Halt LGBT March To Avoid Clashes
A protest march organized by Moldova's LGBT community on May 21 in the capital city, Chisinau, was halted after just several hundred meters as police sought to avert a confrontation with counterprotesters.
Moldova President Says West Backed ‘Corrupt’ Governments
Moldovan President Igor Dodon said the West made a mistake by propping up "corrupt" governments in his country due to fear of Russian influence.
IMF Sees Russian Economy Moving Out Of Recession, Inflation Slowing
The International Monetary Fund said Russia's economy will rebound this year after a two-year recession, and inflation should slow to the central bank's target amid diminished short-term risks from volatile oil prices and financial markets.
Russian Lawmakers Accuse RFE/RL, VOA Of Election Interference
Pro-Kremlin lawmakers have accused the Russian-language services of RFE/RL and Voice of America of using "propaganda" to sow confusion during parliamentary elections last year as part of what they claimed was a broader U.S. influence campaign.
Russian ‘Pokemon Blogger’ To Appeal ‘Insult’ Conviction
Russian “Pokemon Blogger” Ruslan Sokolovsky is appealing his conviction and 3.5 year sentence in a court in Yekaterinburg. (in Russian, Current Time TV)
Think Of The Children: Russian Officials Fret Over Youthful Protesters
Matvei, an 11th grader, and his peers were pulled out of class last week and shown a film likening Russia's political opposition to fascists and terrorists. He then recorded the event on his phone.
EU Decision To Grant Visa-Free Travel To Ukrainians Becomes Official
The European Union's decision granting visa liberalization for Ukraine has been published in the EU's official journal, paving the way for the visa-free regime to enter into force on 11 June.
Ukraine Opens Criminal Probe Against Stalin, Beria For Crimean Tatar Deportations
Ukrainian officials have announced a criminal investigation into Soviet dictator Josef Stalin and his secret police chief, Lavrenty Beria, for the mass deportation of Muslim Tatars from the Crimean Peninsula during World War II.
International Mediators Condemn Cease-Fire Violations In Nagorno-Karabakh
International mediators brokering a peaceful solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict issued a statement on May 18 condemning recent cease-fire violations in the region.
Georgian Foreign Ministry Draws Line Under Criticism of EU Envoy
Tbilisi condemns any effort to drive a wedge between it and the European Union -- that was the message that emerged from a meeting on May 19 between Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister Davit Dondua and Ambassador Herbert Salber, the EU special representative for the South Caucasus and the crisis in Georgia.
Family Of IS-Turned Tajik Police Commander Cites 'Constant Fear'
Life has "turned into a nightmare" for the family of a former Tajik police colonel who left Tajikistan two years ago and joined the extremist group Islamic State (IS).
SCHEMES: Questions Surround Qualifications For Ukraine Supreme Court Candidates
RFE/RL’s anti-corruption program “Schemes” examined the selection process for candidates to Ukraine's Supreme Court’s new criminal division, which reviews cases of alleged corruption. The investigation found that many candidates have never taken an oath to serve as a judge in independent Ukraine; some candidates have been recommended to serve in the division by government officials, creating potential conflicts of interest; and some candidates appeared to have previous court appointments as a result of family connections. Schemes further found that the qualification criteria for the new positions remain unclear, and that members serving on the selection board were unable to explain the methodology used to screen candidates. (Ukrainian Service)
PODCAST: For Central Asia, 'OBOR' Means 'China'
MOST READ/RUSSIA: ‘Usmanov Was Forced To Do It’
Opposition politician Vladimir Milov told RFE/RL that oligarch Alisher Usmanov could not have published a 12-minute YouTube response to allegations by anti-corruption crusader Alexei Navalny without a Kremlin order. The authorities, mistakenly, stayed silent after earlier reports were published accusing Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev of corruption, “so they made Usmanov take the rap for them and publicly attack Navalny,” Milov said. “It was a very bad move, and I think Usmanov was forced to do it.” (almost 55K views on Russian Service website)