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After Two Years, Journalist Aseyev Remains Captive In Donbas
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After Two Years, Journalist Aseyev Remains Captive In Donbas

Two Years On, RFE/RL Presses For Ukrainian Journalist’s Release


Italian Weapons Cache Tied To Suspects Who Fought In Ukraine

Italian police are continuing their investigation into a far-right group found to have a large cache of weapons, including an air-to-air missile, and Nazi paraphernalia. The investigation centers on men who once fought with Russia-backed separatists in the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

Moscow Court Extends Pretrial Detention Of 24 Ukrainian Sailors

A Moscow court has prolonged until late October the pretrial detention of 24 Ukrainian sailors detained by Russian forces in November near the Kerch Strait.

New Videos Appear To Show Torture At Notorious Russian Prison

The Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta has published more videos purportedly showing inmates at a notorious prison colony 250 kilometers north of Moscow being tortured and abused by guards. WARNING: Disturbing video

Uzbekistan Deploys ‘Airport Preaching Imams’ To Counter Extremism

Airport passengers in the eastern Uzbek city of Namangan who are flying to Russia are being force-fed Islamic sermons about loyalty, the dangers of religious extremism -- and Russian women -- in a campaign that appears intended to keep people from joining terrorist or extremist groups.


Putin Widens Citizenship Offer To Eastern Ukrainian Residents

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree expanding the simplified procedure for obtaining Russian citizenship to all residents of Ukraine's eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions. An earlier decree issued in April simplified the process for Ukrainian citizens in “certain” separatist held areas.

NATO Names Romania's Former Top Diplomat As Deputy Secretary-General

NATO has appointed former Romanian Foreign Minister Mircea Geoana as deputy secretary-general. The former leader of Romania's Social Democratic Party will replace American Rose Gottemoeller.

NATO Must Address Central Europe's Energy Needs To Help Counter Russian Influence, U.S. Senator Says

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy told a Washington audience on July 17 that the U.S. and NATO should invest in the energy infrastructure of former Warsaw Pact members as they seek to counter the Kremlin’s efforts to “grow” its influence in the region through nonmilitary means.

European Parliament Urges Russia To Release 'Arbitrarily' Detained Ukrainian Citizens

The European Parliament has overwhelmingly passed a nonbinding resolution calling on Russian authorities to immediately release and return "all illegally and arbitrarily detained Ukrainian citizens" held in Russia and in areas of eastern Ukraine controlled by Russia-backed separatists.

Chechnya Bans Unauthorized Music

Chechnya has banned local pop singers who have gained popularity on YouTube from publishing and performing without official permission. The Ministry of Culture, which declares itself responsible for bringing “the beauty and meaning of Chechen culture to all corners of the world,” has announced it will oversee a committee created under orders of Ramzan Kadyrov that will review and approve all music for public distribution. (Russian Service)

Zelenskiy Supports ‘All For All’ Exchange As Step Toward Dialogue

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has said that Russian President Vladimir Putin offered an “all for all” prisoner exchange in a phone conversation on July 11. Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry claims that Russia is illegally holding over 70 Ukrainians in addition to 24 sailors detained in the Kerch strait in November 2018. (Ukrainian Service)

Georgia Continues Investigation Into June 20 Violence

Three additional people have been arrested in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi on suspicion of participating in group violence last month when demonstrators tried to storm the parliament building. Prosecutors on July 17 summoned Interior Minister Giorgi Gakharia for questioning as part of the ongoing investigation into the possible use of excessive force by law enforcement during the June 20-21 protests.

Armenian Leader Blames Baku For Nagorno-Karabagh Deadlock

In an interview with RFE/RL, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian blamed Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev for the lack of "concrete results" in negotiations aimed at resolving their countries’ decades-long dispute over Azerbaijan's breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Uzbek State Employees Forced To Labor In Heat Ahead Of Mirziyoev Visit

State employees, including medical workers, in the Uzbek town of Jizzakh have been forcibly deployed to clean the streets in 113°F heat ahead of a visit by President Shavkat Mirziyoev. Forced labor is widely practiced in Uzbekistan despite a presidential order banning special preparations for his visits. (in Russian, Current Time TV)

IRAN: Top U.S. Diplomat During Hostage Crisis Dies At Age 96

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