Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov is poised to launch a reality show, winners of which will gain a seat in his government.
As Warsaw prepares to host the NATO summit, former Polish President Lech Walesa called on the military alliance to show determination in the face of a more aggressive Russia.
On July 3, Belarus will stage a military parade marking the 1944 liberation of Minsk from Nazi occupation, showcasing Russian hardware as well as its own, and then likely face a bill of $1.5 million to repair the damage to the asphalt. (Belarusian Service)
Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova said on June 30 that a U.S. diplomat who was involved in an altercation with a Russian guard outside the Moscow Embassy “...was in fact an agent of the CIA” who was “returning, in disguise, after conducting an intelligence operation the previous night.”
Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told officials in Moscow on June 29 that he sacked the commander of Russia's Baltic Fleet, and that Russia will deploy “2,000 units of new and modernized equipment” to beef up its western border.
Spain has arrested a group of Russian nationals on suspicion of money-laundering in connection with Russia’s Tambov and Tagansky criminal gangs and, reportedly, several senior Kremlin officials. (In Russian)
Pavel Astakhov who, as Russia’s children’s rights ombudsman played a prominent role in Moscow’s acrimonious standoff with Washington over foreign adoptions, has reportedly resigned one week after he asked a survivor of a mass drowning that killed 14 teenagers: “So, how was the swim?”
Russian deputies Dmitry Gudkov, Valery Trapeznikov and Yaroslav Nilov condemned the work of the outgoing State Duma, which passed 1816 new laws during its 5-year term, saying the laws damaged the country’s economy, exhausted welfare funds, and built a police state. (In Russian)
A recent Levada Center poll finds that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s popularity has fallen from 89.9 percent to 81 percent over the past year, and that the president, Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu, and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov are the country’s most-trusted officials. (In Russian)
German metal legend Till Lindemann, front man for the band Rammstein, says Russian media erroneously quoted him praising Vladimir Putin and published a carefully doctored photo showing him giving a thumbs up while wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with an image of the Russian president.
Ukraine’s National Anti-Corruption Bureau detained members of a group associated with acting Head of the State Sanitary and Epidemiological Service Svyatoslav Protas as they sought to transfer an equivalent of $16,109 in allegedly stolen funds into cash. (In Ukrainian)
Armenian lawmakers approved on June 30 the cabinet's decision to join Russia's air-defense system, amid protests by the opposition.
A June survey by the Independent Institute of Socio-Economic and Political Studies finds that public confidence in the country’s opposition parties is now at 21.3 percent, potentially positioning them to pose a plausible alternative to President Alyaksandr Lukashenka. (In Belarusian)
Tensions are soaring in Bosnia-Herzegovina over the results of its first postwar census, which show that Bosnian Muslims are now a majority in a country whose population has shrunk overall by one-fifth.