Many respondents to an informal street poll in Moscow said they are interested because any war is important and has broad implications. Some cited their Ukrainian background as a reason they are interested. Some respondents said it is not “their war,” and have other things to worry about. One woman said she doesn’t have a TV, and this is the first she’s heard about the conflict. (Russian Service)
The Russian city Volgograd, formerly known as Stalingrad and the site of the largest battle of World War II, is hosting the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Its war ruins and dilapidated Soviet buildings and factories loom behind a long grey fence, mostly unseen and unknown to visiting soccer fans. (Current Time TV)
Iran may have been eliminated from the World Cup, but some of its traveling female fans still enjoyed being able to go to games and ditch their head scarves, which are compulsory back home.
Protesters angry over Iran’s collapsing currency and struggling economy confronted police in Tehran on June 25, forcing the closure of the capital’s Grand Bazaar.
U.S. national security adviser John Bolton is due to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin during his visit to Moscow on June 27 to lay the groundwork for a July summit between Putin and President Donald Trump.
Russian Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak has met in Washington with his U.S. counterpart Rick Perry and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to discuss energy issues and U.S. sanctions on Russia.
A top U.S. State Department official says Turkey has been warned that its purchase of F-35 stealth fighter jets is in jeopardy unless it drops a plan to buy S-400 missile defense systems from Russia.
Russian Premier Dmitry Medvedev has allocated an additional $12.6 million to cover costs for stadiums and training facilities during the FIFA World Cup. The 2018 Russian event is the most expensive World Cup yet, with costs totaling in excess of $14.2 billion. (in Russian, Current Time TV)
Ukrainian and international media have largely ignored the months-long "Ukrainian People's Tribunal" broadcast by the country’s separatist, self-declared Luhansk People's Republic. But Russian state-run media devoted significant coverage to the finale, during which the tribunal unanimously found Ukraine's top leaders, including President Petro Poroshenko, guilty of war crimes.
Georgia’s prime minister has announced his government has prepared a list of officials and security agents from the country’s break-away territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia whom it accuses of torture and other crimes against Georgian citizens in those regions, and that it will start criminal proceedings against them. (in Russian, Current Time TV)
Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze has announced plans for a moderately streamlined cabinet, with 10 ministries instead of 14, but did not say who will fill the posts.
Moldova’s Orthodox church has banned priest Maxim Melinti from officiating services effective June 21, alleging he was "promoting and encouraging sexual minorities and contributing to the development of the LGBT movement in the Republic of Moldova."
Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov has refused to sign off on an agreement to change the country's name to North Macedonia, calling it a "criminal act" that violates the Balkan country's constitution.
A Soviet-era fresco depicting an angel that has for decades adorned the wall of local theater in the eastern Uzbek city of Kokand has been destroyed, her face now covered by a veil, and her shapely figure invisible behind a crudely painted dress.
About two dozen Turkmen citizens who resided outside of the country and possessed expired passports have been arrested after returning to Turkmenistan, despite promises given by authorities to their relatives that they would not be prosecuted. (in Russian, Turkmen Service)