Pledging to crack down on corruption, fix the struggling economy, and end the Russia-backed separatist conflict in the country’s east, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s Servant Of The People party is on track to capture a historic majority.
Speaking at a July 20 rally in Moscow to protest the refusal by electoral authorities to register about 30 opposition candidates for Moscow city Duma elections in September, Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny threatened renewed protests on July 27 if the rulings are not reversed. (Over 624K views on Russian Service’s YouTube channel)
In what appeared to be a coordinated act, a gang of about 20 women on July 22 attacked journalists who were covering a news conference organized by human rights activists in Kazakhstan’s largest city, Almaty.
In Russia's Komi Republic, a major petroleum hub, crude oil leaks from pipelines and seeps into the ground and water, creating an environmental crisis that local activists are pressing oil producers to address.
Competitors plunged 22 meters from the historical Fshajt Bridge into the White Drin River at an annual high-diving contest near the Kosovo village of Xerxe.
Ukraine's military on July 22 said that two soldiers were killed and as many wounded on the previous day when an unknown explosive device was set off by an "enemy sabotage and reconnaissance group."
Yaroslav Shirshikov, a leader of mass protests in May against building an Orthodox church in a city park in Yekaterinburg, has been charged with libel and issuing public calls for "mass disturbances."
In an effort to comply with new Russian legislation combating money laundering and terrorist financing, Western Union has limited the amount of funds that can be transferred from Russia to a single country abroad to approximately $9,500 per month. The previous limit was $5000 per country. (Russian Service)
A new Russian law will allow industrial enterprises in designated areas to build penal settlements from which they will employ prisoners. Russian Bar Association Chairman Vladimir Gruzdev praised the initiative, saying it supports enterprises in sparsely populated areas that often suffer a shortage of workers, while providing employment to convicts.
Eight people were arrested and one person hospitalized after fans of the Spartak Moscow soccer team clashed with riot police inside the stadium of host FC Rostov in the eponymous city of Rostov-on-Don.
An opinion survey conducted in May 2018 by state-backed pollster VTSiOM found that 57 percent of Russians believe there were no lunar landings, and that the U.S. government made a fake documentary in 1969 about the mission. Only 24 percent of the poll's 2,000 respondents aged 18 and over said they believed U.S. astronauts landed on the moon.
As Europe and the world have undergone startling transformations over the last quarter-century, the presence of Belarus’s Alyaksandr Lukashenka, sworn in on July 20, 1994, has been a constant. Or has it? The wily leader of this resource-poor nation of 10 million bordering Russia, Ukraine, and three European Union and NATO countries has turned his country into a textbook example of adaptive authoritarianism.
A Kazakh-born, naturalized U.S. citizen has been charged with fighting for and serving as a weapons trainer for the extremist group Islamic State. Prosecutors in a U.S. federal court in New York say Maratovich Asainov traveled in 2013 from his home in Brooklyn to Turkey, and from there to Syria, where he fought until 2018.
PRESSROOM: RFE/RL’s Abubakar Siddique On Whether Two Populist Presidents Can End Afghan The War (The American Interest)
PRESSROOM: Amid PM Khan Visit To Washington, RFE/RL Recalls 2018 Forcible Closure Of Its Islamabad Bureau