Turks are set to vote on June 24 in presidential and parliamentary elections which could keep President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in power for another five years. Analysts expect Erdogan to win the first round of the presidential contest, but some say the margin may not be enough to avoid a runoff.
Some respondents to an informal street poll in Moscow said that there can be no soccer without politics, and one person even said they’re the same. Many said that soccer is more important, or at least more interesting, since politics are so complicated. One person said she is more concerned with a government plan to raise the retirement age. (Russian Service)
Taxi drivers say they’re overworked, while a number of international tourists visiting Moscow during the World Cup have reported being short-changed, price-gouged, or misled by those behind the wheel.
Adrenalin junkies riding inner tubes drew crowds to Prizren's river banks and bridges, in the city's annual "nontraditional" race.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed in remarks to journalists on June 21 that U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton plans to visit Moscow, but provided no details about the trip.
Russia’s foreign ministry has expressed alarm over President Donald Trump's pledge to create a separate branch of the military to maintain U.S. dominance in space, and accused the U.S. of "nurturing plans … with the aim of possibly staging military action there."
As World Cup fever mounts in Russia, opponents of a government plan to raise the retirement age find themselves jostling for political position, with a handful of protests against the plan set to coincide with soccer's centerpiece event.
Thorbjorn Jagland, secretary-general of the Council of Europe, has urged Russia to release imprisoned Ukrainian film director Oleh Sentsov on humanitarian grounds.
The soccer teams of Mexico and Serbia are the first to be hit by fines at the World Cup over offensive and discriminatory behavior by their fans amid a growing number of reported incidents of abuse targeting women, gays, and other minorities.
The head of Russia’s audit chamber Alexei Kudrin told the state Duma on June 20 that misuse of funds among Russian federal entities amounted to approximately $29.2 billion in 2017, almost $11 billion of which is linked to Roscosmos, the state-run aeronautics giant. He said the total amount of misspending Is almost double that recorded in 2016. (in Russian, Current Time TV)
A new bill passed by the Russian Duma in its first reading has caused concern among residents of Russia's so-called ethnic republics, who fear the bill seeks to weaken local languages and non-Russian cultures that are nominally guaranteed by the country's status as a federation.
Ukrainian opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko says she plans to run for president in 2019, declaring in a video conference on Facebook on June 20 that she is seeking the office "not just to play an authoritarian game…but to lift Ukraine back on its feet."
Ukraine will stand up a State Bureau of Investigations in the fall of 2018, the first agency of its kind in Ukrainian history, modeled on the United States’ FBI. (Ukrainian Service)
Georgia's parliament has approved acting Finance Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze as the country's new prime minister and approved an interim cabinet as part of a plan to usher in liberal reforms in the South Caucasus country.
The Union of Kazakhstan's Journalists has awarded Russian entrepreneur Pavel Durov for his stance in the long-running battle between the popular messaging app Telegram and Russian authorities, recognizing him on June 21 "for his principled position against censorship and the state's interference into citizens' free online correspondence."