Young Pioneers Rally In Minsk
The Daily Vertical: Going To Extremes
The Power Vertical's Brian Whitmore gives an “extremist” critique of Russia today.
French Express Outrage At Russian TV Report
A report on Rossiya 24 misrepresented footage taken from French labor protests and misquoted interviewees to create the impression of EU opposition and anti-immigrant sentiment in France.
VoxPop: Can Russia Hold A Fair Election?
In an informal street poll in Moscow, most respondents expressed skepticism about the prospect of fair elections in Russia, but some were more optimistic and said the creation of a new electoral commision is a step in the right direction. (Russian Service)
On Crimea Visit, Medvedev Has Empty Pockets
During a visit to Crimea, Russian Prime minister Dmitry Medvedev responded to a citizen’s complaint about small pensions and high cost of living by saying that “we simply don’t have the money right now.”
United Russia Party Meets WIth Disapproval And Black Balloons
On the day of the United Russia party’s primary elections, foreign-currency mortgage owners protested the party’s rejection of a mortgage support program, calling the decision “swinish” and gathering with black and pig-shaped balloons in front of party headquarters. (Russian Service)
Baku Weights Benefits, Risks Of Setting Ismayilova Free
This week’s amnesty may augur well for imprisoned RFE/RL investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova, but it's far from certain that Azeri President Ilham Aliyev will be swayed by either condemnation or largesse in her particular case.
Seven Ukrainian Soldiers Reported Killed In Eastern Conflict
Ukraine says seven of its servicemen have been killed and nine others wounded in the country’s east over the past 24 hours, the largest number of casualties in the region in a single day so far this year.
Modified NGO Law Increases Risks To Russian Groups
The Duma passed amendments to Russia’s NGO law on May 20, expanding the definition of “political activity” to include activities relating to government, legislative regulation, and human rights. The changes increase the risk that any NGO-supported studies or critiques touching upon such areas would now be grounds for declaring the group a foreign agent or shutting it down. (In Russian)
Ukraine Deputies Denounce Journalists For Offshore Allegations
Deputies from the parliament’s pro-presidential faction have accused journalists investigating the offshore accounts of Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko of being “Kremlin people.” Efforts to stand up a parliamentary investigative committee have been met with skepticism in the absence of a legal framework that would grant it meaningful authority. (In Ukrainian)
Russia Reports Decline In Real Incomes
Russia’s Federal State Statistics Service reported on May 23 that Russians’ real incomes dropped by more than 7 percent over the last year, with 5 percent of the decline occurring in the first quarter of 2016. For the first time since the 2008 global financial crisis, Russians are spending more than 50 percent of their income on food. (In Russian)
Kadyrov Says Foreign Intelligence Services Sponsored Chechen War
Citing “documentary evidence,” Chechen strongman Ramzan Kadyrov told participants at an international security conference in the capital, Grozny, that the 1994 war in Chechnya was an attempt by several foreign intelligence services to weaken and divide Russia, and is being repeated today in Ukraine and Syria. (In Russian/Current Time TV)
Kazakh Clampdown Leaves 'People's Bard' Behind Bars
One of the most outspoken opponents of Kazakh plans to dispense with huge swaths of land is a folksy singer who's not afraid to pick a fight with the government.
Austrian Far Right Loses Presidential Vote
Left-leaning candidate Alexander Van der Bellen has won Austria's presidential election, preventing Norbert Hofer from becoming the EU's first far-right head of state.
TURKEY NOTEBOOOK: Erdogan’s One-Man Government