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Ford Plant Closures In Russia Mean Mass Layoffs, Protests Over Pay
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The End Of An Era: Ford Closes Plants In Russia

VISUAL REPORTS

State-Approved Rally Held In Moscow In Support Of Free Media

The Russian Interior Ministry says nearly 1,600 people turned out for an authorized rally in Moscow on June 16 in support of free media. Other sources estimated the crowd between 300 and 600 persons. The rally was prompted by the recent arrest, and unexpected release, of investigative journalist Ivan Golunov. A co-organizer of a previous demonstration in support of Golunov said the rally was a “fake” event and called for people to stay away.

Migrant Influx Mounts At Croatia-Bosnia Border

Aid groups are warning of a humanitarian crisis in Bosnia-Herzegovina as an increasing number of migrants trying to cross into the European Union find themselves stranded as neighboring Croatia, an EU member, tightens border controls and erects new fences.

Tajik, Chinese Presidents Bolster Ties

Tajikistan and China signed 18 agreements to bolster bilateral ties during talks between Tajik President Emomali Rahmon and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Dushanbe on June 15. According to the Chinese ambassador to Tajikistan, China is currently Tajikistan’s biggest investor and its third-largest trading partner.

OTHER NEWS

Russian Duma Votes To Suspend INF Treaty

Russian lawmakers have voted overwhelmingly to support a decree by President Vladimir Putin to suspend the country’s participation in the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, which eliminated an entire class of missiles.

Global Nuclear Arsenal Declines, But U.S.-Russia Tensions Make Further Cuts Uncertain

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) reports that at the start of 2019, Russia, the United States, and seven other countries possessed 13,865 nuclear weapons, a "marked decline" from the 14,465 estimated at the start of 2018. But, the researchers say, future reductions look uncertain because of "political and military differences" between Moscow and Washington.

Navalny Activist Claims FSB Pressured Her To Inform

An activist working for opposition politician Aleksei Navalny in the mid-Volga region city of Saratov has said people claiming to be agents of the Federal Security Service (FSB) threatened her if she did not agree to work as an informant.

Navalny Aide Granted Early Prison Release

Leonid Volkov, a close aide of Russian opposition figure Aleksei Navalny, was released from a Moscow jail on June 18 after a Moscow court halved the 15-day jail term previously handed to him for organizing a demonstration against an increase in the retirement age.

Russian Court Downgrades Extortion Charge Against Editor

A court in St. Petersburg has downgraded extortion charges against Igor Rudnikov, the editor of a newspaper in Russia's Baltic Sea exclave of Kaliningrad, and instead convicted him of a lesser charge of attempted "arbitrariness." Rudnikov has said the case against him is politically motivated.

Russian Governor Slams America, Fake News After Deadly Ethnic Violence

In the wake of ethnic clashes among residents of a Russian village that left one person dead and led riot police and the Kremlin to step in, the regional governor has accused “America and the West” of fanning the flames.

Missing Russian Man Thought To Be Victim of Chechnya’s ‘Gay Purge’

Andrei Kobyshev, a 48-year-old had been scrambling to make ends meet as a masseur in Grozny, the capital of Russia’s southern Chechnya region went missing in March 2017. But an alleged eyewitness has now made an explosive new claim: Kobyshev, in the weeks after his disappearance, was being held captive in a Grozny police cellar, where he claimed to have been brutally beaten over suspicions that he was gay.

Ukrainian President Seeks 'Pressure' On Russia At Talks With Merkel In Berlin

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy is due to meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on June 18, one day after Zelenskiy urged Kyiv’s European backers to keep “pressure” on Russia to end the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

Former U.S. Ambassador To Head Embassy During Ukrainian Elections

Former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor will lead America’s diplomatic mission in Kyiv during parliamentary elections in July, the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv said on June 18. U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch departed in May.

PACE Condemns Secret Execution In Belarus

The Parliamentary assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has "strongly condemned" the reported secret execution of Belarusian citizen Alyaksandr Zhylnikau while his case was still under consideration by the United Nations Human Rights Committee.

Belarusian Nobel Laureate Says HBO Series ‘Changed Perception’ Of Chernobyl

Belarus's Nobel laureate Svetlana Alexievich rolled her eyes when the creators of Chernobyl approached her for permission to use material from her book Voices From Chernobyl for the hit HBO miniseries. But she says she’s impressed.

Number Of Kazakhs Detained In Election Protests Nears 4,000

Kazakhstan’s interior ministry says the number of protesters detained during five days of rallies against the results of a recent presidential election has risen to almost 4,000. The majority of those detained has reportedly been released, while 677 individuals were sentenced to up to 15 days in prison and 305 persons were fined.

Kyrgyz Commission Brings Nine Charges Against Ex-President Atambaev

A Kyrgyz parliamentary commission has indicted former President Almazbek Atambaev on nine counts of corruption in a move toward stripping him of his immunity to allow for his prosecution.

Turkmen President Names Son Provincial Governor

Turkmenistan’s authoritarian President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov has appointed his son as governor of the south-central region of Ahal, fueling speculation that Serdar Berdymukhammedov, 37, is being groomed to succeed his father at the helm of the notoriously repressive country.

MAJLIS PODCAST: Youth Group Breathes Life Into Kazakh Politics

POLL: Record Number Of Russians Believe Men Must Serve In The Military

A recent Levada Center poll has found that 60% of respondents believe that men must serve in the military, the highest percentage since 1997, when 41% to 44% expressed this view. Eighty-eight percent of respondents believe that the military is able to protect the country against a military threat; 8% disagree. (Russian Service)

INFOGRAPHIC: Nuclear SSR

PRESSROOM: CPJ Calls On Zelenskiy To Release RFE/RL Journalist Stanislav Aseyev

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