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LIVE BLOG: Putin Takes Questions

LIVE BLOG: Putin Takes Questions

Russian President Vladimir Putin is fielding questions from across the country on June 20 in an annual call-in show that usually lasts several hours, one of a handful of live performances he holds every year to burnish his image.

VISUAL REPORTS

Questions, Demands, And Pleas For President Putin

Ahead of the annual call-in show, Current Time TV asked Russians what they would like to ask the president, if given the chance.

Organizers Say Georgian LGBT Events Must Go On Amid Threats

Organizers insisted on June 19 that the week's Tbilisi Pride events would go forward, while telling participants planning to join the March Of Dignity through the city’s downtown on June 22 “ that there are still risks involved and they have to decide for themselves if they are prepared to participate."

Serbian Middle School Students Protest Over Leak Of Math Exam

Several hundred eighth-grade students have rallied for a second day in the Serbian capital to demand the resignation of the education minister and changes to the country’s education system following the leaking of a national exam.

Uzbeks Say They're Forced To Build Showcase Villages

Sources tell RFE/RL that thousands of Uzbeks are being forced to work for free as part of the president's "Prosperous Village" program. Local residents say they've been told their pensions and benefits will be cut if they don't do as they're told, but one local official denied that.

OTHER NEWS

U.S. Hails MH17 Indictments, Urges Moscow To Ensure Justice

The United States has welcomed the indictment of four individuals for their alleged roles in the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine in 2014, calling it an "important milestone in the search for the truth."

Behind The Four Suspects Facing MH17 Murder Charges

On July 19, international investigators announced plans to try three Russians and one Ukrainian for murder in the July 2014 downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, which killed 298 people. These are the four suspects whose trial is to start in the Netherlands in March 2020: Igor Girkin, Sergei Dubinsky, Oleg Pulatov, and Igor Kharchenko.

Trump Again Says He Will Meet Putin At G20 In Japan

U.S. President Donald Trump, speaking in an interview on June 19 with Fox News, has again said he will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin at next week's Group of 20 (G20) summit in Japan. The Kremlin did not immediately on the president’s remarks.

Moscow Court Extends Custody For American Paul Whelan

A Moscow City Court ruled in a closed hearing to extend the arrest of former American marine Paul Whelan, who was taken into custody in Moscow on December 28, 2018 on charges of espionage. The court denied the defense team’s request to transfer him to house arrest or release him on bail. (Russian Service)

U.S. Deports Russian Convicted Of Smuggling F-16 Manuals

Russian citizen Oleg Tishchenko will be immediately deported from the United States after pleading guilty to smuggling F-16 technical manuals to Moscow.

U.S. Punishes Russian Entity Helping North Korea Evade Sanctions

The United States has sanctioned the Moscow-based Russian Financial Society, a small Russian financial institution, for indirectly supporting North Korea’s nuclear program.

U-Turns In Russian Criminal Cases Raise Questions About Kremlin Intent

A series of abrupt U-turns in politically charged criminal cases has left Russians wondering what's going on: Is it a coincidence, a PR ploy ahead of President Vladimir Putin's annual call-in show on June 20, or the first signs of an actual thaw?

Russian Court Adjourns Gulag Historian Dmitriyev's Trial

The high-profile, closed-door trial of Yury Dmitriyev, a Russian historian and renowned gulag researcher charged with sexually assaulting his adopted daughter, has been adjourned until July 23. Dmitriyev’s detention was extended until September 19.

Leading Newspapers In Daghestan Protest Jailing Of Reporter

Three leading newspapers in Russia's North Caucasus region of Daghestan say they will publish special front pages in solidarity with journalist Abdulmumin Gadzhiyev, who was arrested on what they called "trumped up" charges of terrorism.

'Inconvenient' Ukrainian Journalist Dies After Attack

Vadym Komarov, a Ukrainian investigative journalist, has died six weeks after being attacked by an unknown assailant. Serhiy Tomilenko, the head of Ukraine's National Union of Journalists, wrote on Facebook,"The only reason for the attack, now the killing, … is Vadym Komarov's professional activities. He was inconvenient for many local politicians.”

Ukrainian Lawmaker Who Reported On Crimea's Occupation Dies

Ukrainian lawmaker and journalist Dmytro Tymchuk has died from a gunshot wound that a fellow lawmaker says he sustained while cleaning a handgun in his home on June 19.

European Parliament's Liberals Pick Romania's Ciolos As Leader

The liberals in the European Parliament have elected former Romanian Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos to head their faction, Renew Europe, which is the third-largest political force in parliament after winning 106 seats following last month’s elections.

China To Invest Half A Billion Dollars In Tajik Aluminum Company TALCO

The state-owned China Machinery Engineering Corporation has agreed to invest $545 million to modernize Tajikistan’s largest industrial enterprise, the TALCO aluminum company. Tajikistan’s foreign debt as of April 2019 is $2,915,000,000., of which 80% is owed to China. (in Russian, Tajik Service)

INFOGRAPHIC: Timeline Of MH17 Events

PRESSROOM: RFE/RL Wins Edward R. Murrow Award

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