RFE/RL journalist Khadija Ismayilova has been released from an Azerbaijani prison after spending 537 days behind bars on what press freedom groups and international lawyers called politically-motivated charges.
Ukrainian military pilot Nadia Savchenko greeted a crowd at Kyiv airport on May 25 after being freed in a prisoner swap that ended her nearly two years of captivity in Russia.
Speaking with RFE/RL in Brussels on May 24, NATO General Petr Pavel said the alliance's planned build-up on its eastern flank is a response to Russian military actions in Georgia, Ukraine, and Syria.
This parody of a Russian video targeting the “villainous West” that recently circulated on social networks was produced by RFE/RL’s Belarus Service to help young audiences identify propaganda and fight back against trolls. (With English Subtitles/Belarus Service)
The release of RFE/RL journalist Khadija Ismayilova from prison is cause for celebration, but numerous other activists and journalists widely considered to be political prisoners remain behind bars in Azerbaijan.
Ukrainian military pilot Nadia Savchenko returned to a hero's welcome in Kyiv on May 25, but at least 12 other Ukrainians remain in Russian prisons on convictions that have been condemned by the Ukrainian and Western governments and some international rights groups.
Amid varying reactions to the news of the pilot’s release on Ukrainian social media was speculation that she may pose a political challenge to both President Petro Poroshenko and opposition politician Yulia Tymoshenko. (In Ukrainian)
Sweden's parliament has voted 291 to 21 to give NATO more access to the neutral Nordic country for training exercises and in the event of a war.
Lyubov Sobol, a lawyer with Alexei Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation, said the decision reflects Yuri Chaika’s value as someone who “doesn't cross his interests with the interests of Putin's inner circle,” and suggests that “the Kremlin does not need professionals.” (In Russian)
A delegation of the UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture suspended its visit to Ukraine after being denied access to locations where people are alleged to have been deprived of their liberty by the Ukrainian Security Service.
Receiving the Vaclav Havel International Prize for Creative Dissent in absentia on May 25, Russian performance artist Pyotr Pavlensky, who is in pre-trial detention in Russia, said he planned to give the prize to a group of men jailed for a series of attacks against police.
A bill in the Russian State Duma proposes a one-year prison sentence on persons found guilty of deliberately distorting the music or the wording of the national anthem during its public performance or publication in the media, including the Internet. (In Russian) .
Stanislau Shushkevich was fined $320 on May 24 on charges of attending an unsanctioned meeting after participating in a gathering of the Belarusian National Congress, a union of the country’s opposition groups.
In a discussion of Russia’s unfulfilled promises to Crimea, civil society activist Sergey Sharov-Delaune told RFE/RL that what existed of a private sector on the peninsula was taken over by Russia’s security forces after annexation, and that a disproportionate share of the budget was spent on military and security costs to the detriment of basic public services. (In Russian)