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Poseurs From The Blue Lagoon: Russians Seek Toxic Pit Pics
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Russia’s Blue Lagoon: Russians wanting to impress their followers with vacation shots on social media can spend a fortune getting to a tropical paradise, or just find their way to a toxic waste dump in Siberia.

VISUAL REPORTS

The First, Damning Hours After MH17 Was Shot Out Of The Sky

The wreckage of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was still smoldering in the countryside of eastern Ukraine when Russian media began relaying news of the downed plane. An anchorwoman for a Kremlin-loyal network announced, “A fresh victory for the Donetsk rebels: Another Ukrainian plane was shot down in the city of Torez.”

Moscow Police Detain Election Protesters

Russian police detained dozens of demonstrators outside the Moscow Election Commission headquarters after opposition candidates called for a sit-in to protest their exclusion from city council elections.

Belgrade Protest No. 32 Targets Interior Minister's Qualifications

Serbian anti-government protesters marched for the 32nd weekend in a row on July 13, expanding their grievances to include new allegations that Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic may have falsified his university degree.

Power Blackout Causes Traffic Chaos In Almaty

There was chaos on the streets of Kazakhstan’s largest city, Almaty, when traffic lights and transportation systems stopped working on July 15 following a power blackout.

OTHER NEWS

Austria OKs Extradition Of Ukrainian Tycoon Firtash To U.S.

Austria's justice minister has approved the extradition of Ukrainian tycoon Dmytro Firtash to the United States, where he has been charged as part of an alleged bribery scheme involving titanium supplies for aircraft giant Boeing.

Turkey's Erdogan Says Russian S-400 Missiles To Be Deployed By April 2020

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced that its Russian-made S-400 missile-defense system will be fully deployed in April 2020, and that eight planes had already brought parts and more were coming.

Russian, Ukrainian Officials Discuss Prisoner Swap

Russian and Ukrainian officials say they are holding talks on a prisoner swap involving 24 Ukrainian sailors captured near the Kerch Strait last year, just days after their countries' presidents discussed the conflict in eastern Ukraine and a possible prisoner exchange in their first telephone call.

Law On Ukraine State Language Comes Into Force

The law, which was signed by former President Petro Poroshenko only days before leaving office, declares Ukrainian "the only official state language in Ukraine." It says "attempts" to introduce other languages as the state language would be considered attempts to "forcibly change the constitutional order."

Police Officers Linked To Golunov Arrest Fired

Russia’s Interior Ministry has reported that four police officers linked to the June 6 arrest of investigative journalist Ivan Golunov have been fired. The names of the officers, who are expected to appeal the decision, have not been disclosed. (in Russian, Current Time TV)

Russia’s Yashin To Appeal Ban On Moscow City Council Candidacy

Russian opposition politician Ilya Yashin has vowed to appeal the Moscow Election Commission's July 15 decision to disqualify him from elections to the capital's city council in September. The council ruled that many of the signatures required to support his candidacy contained incorrect information.

Siberian Mayor Resigns Over Abuse Of Office During Deadly Floods

Irkutsk mayor Sergei Khudonogov has resigned after a video posted to the Internet showed dozens of state-owned trucks and equipment securing his property during four days of floods caused by heavy rains, while ordinary residents were left without help from the authorities.

Russian Scientist Under House Arrest On Treason Charges

Authorities in Russia have arrested 77-year-old researcher Sergei Meshcheryakov at a Russian rocket- and spacecraft-design institute on treason charges. No more details have been provided.

Estemirova’s Daughter Blames 'System' Built By Putin, Kadyrov For Mother’s Death

In an interview with Current Time, Lana Estemirova, the daughter of Russian rights activist Natalya Estemirova, who was abducted and killed 10 years ago, said she agreed with findings by Russian investigative journalists that her mother’s abduction on July 15, 2009 was linked to her efforts to examine a police department in Chechnya that had allegedly been abducting civilians.

Wait, That's My Name: 'Clone Candidates' Fill Ukrainian Election Ballots

If Ukraine's presidential elections marked the rise of so-called "clone candidates," then its parliamentary elections mark their revenge. Yes, the "clones" are back -- and with a vengeance.

Bulgaria Links Hacking Attack To U.S. Military Jet Purchase

A massive hacking attack in Bulgaria via a Russian website might be linked to Sofia's decision to buy military jets from the United States, the Balkan country's interior minister said, as the government's Security Council gathered to assess the situation.

Tajik Prosecutor-General Denies Torture In Death Of 14 Inmates

Tajikistan's Prosecutor-General Yusuf Rahmon has rejected claims by relatives of 14 inmates whose deaths were announced last week that the men had been tortured. Rahmon told reporters in Dushanbe on July 16 that the inmates died of food poisoning.

INFOGRAPHIC: Flight MH17 By The Numbers

PRESSROOM: RFE/RL Calls For Release Of Oleh Halaziuk, Blogger Who Chronicled Downing Of MH17

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