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Jailed Crimean Film Director Oleg Sentsov Marks His Birthday In A Russian Prison (RFE/RL Ukrainian Service)

VISUAL REPORTS

Lavrov Calls Accusations Directed At Trump's Son 'Wild'

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said he was "taken aback" by accusations leveled at Donald Trump Jr. over his meeting with a Russian lawyer.

U.S., Ukraine Join Others For Black Sea Naval Exercises

U.S. and Ukrainian ships have been conducting operations in the Black Sea port of Odesa, joining with forces from 15 other countries in the annual Sea Breeze exercises.

Life As A Lesbian In Baku

In Azerbaijan, being openly gay can mean dealing with insults, threats, and even violence. Rights groups have singled out the country's government for failing to protect its LGBT community. One young woman in Baku described her experiences after coming out to her family and university classmates.

VOX POP: Who Would You Like To See As Putin’s Opponent In The Presidential Debates

Respondents to an informal street poll in Moscow named Gregorii Yavlinsky, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, Sergei Glazyev, Gennady Zyuganov, Mikhail Khazin, and Lenin. One person denounced Aleksei Navalny, one said no one could win against Vladimir Putin, and one said it’s “scary” to think “that in such a large country there is no opponent.” (Russian Service)

OTHER NEWS

NATO-Russia Council Expected To Discuss Flight Incidents, Ukraine

The NATO-Russia Council, convening in Brussels for the second time this year, is expected to address measures to reduce tensions and risks resulting from incidents involving maneuvering by warplanes over the Baltic Sea.

Kremlin Denounces U.S. Ban On Kaspersky Software As 'Politicized'

The Kremlin has criticized the U.S. government's decision not to buy products from Russia's Kaspersky Lab as "politicized," while the company said it had fallen victim to a "geopolitical brawl."

Convicted Nemtsov Killers Given Lengthy Prison Terms

A Russian court on July 13 sentenced five men convicted of killing opposition politician Boris Nemtsov to prison terms ranging from 11 to 20 years.

Yandex and Uber Merge Taxi Services In Russia And Region

Yandex and Uber taxi services have announced a joint venture that will operate in Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, and Kazakhstan. Uber will invest $225 million and Yandex will invest $100 million in the merger, with Yandex owning almost 60 percent of the company. (in Russian, Current Time TV)

Moldovan NGOs Reject Proposed Ban On Foreign Funding

About 20 leading nongovernmental organizations in Moldova have issued a public statement urging the government not to adopt a proposed ban on foreign funding for NGOs that are involved in "political activity."

EU Seeks To Assure Balkans At Summit

Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni opened an EU-Western Balkans summit on July 12 in the the northern port city of Trieste -- the fourth such meeting since 2014.

Jailed Kazakh Businessman Toleshov Facing New Charges

A new trial has begun in the case of a wealthy Kazakh businessman with close ties to Russia who was sentenced in November to 21 years in prison for attempting to overthrow the government.

Virginity Test: Tajik Bride Takes Own Life, Groom Faces Jail

Rajabbi Khurshed’s mother has called her daughter a victim of "slander and violence," after the young bride, scorned by her new husband over a virginity test, took her own life.

Tajikistan Publishes Book Of Wit And Wisdom By President Rahmon

Tajikistan on July 12 released a book of President Emomali Rahmon's wit and wisdom, extending the strongman's personality cult in the Central Asian nation.

Uzbekistan Moves Forward On New Foreign-Travel Documents

Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyaev has signed an executive order requiring the government to propose new documents for citizens traveling abroad.

Turkmenistan To Stop Funding State TV

Turkmenistan has announced that state funding for television and radio programs produced by the State Committee for Television, Broadcasting and Cinematography will be phased out over a period of four years beginning in 2018. The decision, which would affect a key propaganda tool, has surprised experts, although some say the country simply cannot afford to continue such funding under current economic conditions. (in Russian, Turkmen Service)

BLOGGING THE CAUCASUS: Abkhazia Heads Into New Political Crisis

POLYGRAPH.Info: Putin: Moscow Is The World’s No. 1 Data-Driven City

INFOGRAPHIC: Global State Of Positiveness

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