A death squad is unmasked as the Ukraine war grinds on.
The United States has accused Russia of testing an anti-satellite weapon that Washington fears could be used to threaten critical U.S. and allied satellites. The Russian Defense Ministry said that a small space vehicle on July 15 inspected one of its satellites up close “using special equipment.” However, the United States said on July 23 that the craft actually had a different mission.
Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya is running for president in place of her husband, Syarhey Tsikhanouski, who is in jail on charges that he and supporters say were meant to quash his bid to unseat President Alyaksandr Lukashenka, in power since 1994. The accidental candidate now finds herself at the forefront of a fresh female political wave that a growing number of Belarusians hope can bring in a democratic tide to their country. Also read -- Lukashenka Threatens Expulsion For Foreign Journalists Who Call For 'Mass Disturbances.' Ex-candidate Valer Tsapkala has fled Belarus with his children and is now in Moscow.
Ramzan Kadyrov, the authoritarian leader of Russia's North Caucasus region of Chechnya, has declared "sanctions" against U.S. State Secretary Mike Pompeo. Russian President Vladimir Putin on July 23 awarded Kadyrov the rank of military major general.
In the remote Sulak canyon in Russia's Republic of Daghestan, farmers have built hand-powered cable cars to transport their produce across a mountain river.
Russia’s media regulator Roskomnadzor has proposed new rules requiring that media designated as “foreign agents” indicate this information in labeling that must accompany all published text, audio, and video content. For text, the label must be twice as large as the font size used for the headline, and be located above it. For video material, the label must occupy at least 20 percent of the screen and be shown for 15 seconds before the clip. RFE/RL has called the proposed rules an effort to increase censorship in Russia and frighten its audiences. (Russian Service)
U.S. President Donald Trump said he spoke with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, about an arms agreement and fighting the coronavirus in their first call since explosive allegations emerged last month that Moscow had put bounties on U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. Neither the White House nor Kremlin readouts of the July 23 call mentioned the Afghanistan bounties, which have not been confirmed.
Russian law enforcement have questioned a Khabarovsk activist for the first time since mass protests broke out in the Far East region two weeks ago following the arrest of local Governor Sergei Furgal. The new acting governor has refused to meet with protesters, saying doing so would be disrespectful to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Prosecutors in the northern Russian city of Petrozavodsk have said they will appeal the 3 1/2-year prison term given to historian Yury Dmitriyev. They had originally asked for a prison sentence of 15 years.
The U.S. Secret Service has announced a $2 million reward for information leading to the arrest or conviction of two Ukrainian men accused of hacking into the Securities and Exchange Commission’s data system. Artem Radchenko, 28, and Oleksandr Ieremenko, 28, acquired inside information on publicly traded companies by stealing test versions of quarterly and annual reports filed with the SEC but not yet available to investors.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has called on law enforcement to find those responsible for a suspected arson attack on the home of prominent activist Vitaliy Shabunin, who is head of the country’s Anti-Corruption Action Center’s executive board. Shabunin showed reporters on July 23 the remains of his Kyiv home, which burned down overnight.
Negotiators from Ukraine, Russia, and the OSCE have reached an agreement for a cease-fire in eastern Ukraine from July 27.
Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov has been placed in quarantine after his chief of staff, Denitsa Jeleva, contracted the coronavirus. Borisov’s press service has confirmed that Jeleva tested positive on July 23 for COVID-19.
Bosnia-Herzegovina's ethnically divided southern city of Mostar plans to hold its first local elections in 12 years on December 20, the election authority has announced. Thirty-five city councilors are to be elected under the city's new election rules. Those city councilors would then vote to determine Mostar's next mayor.
An officer of the Kyrgyz Border Guard Service who publicly raised concerns about corruption in the agency has suddenly died of what officials called a "heart attack," though relatives insist that he had no health problems. The Border Guard Service said on July 22 that 38-year-old Colonel Talgat Alanov died a day earlier while visiting his relatives in the southern region of Osh.
GIVE: Contributions are being accepted here to help independent Russian journalist Svetlana Prokopyeva pay a 500,000 ruble fine (approx $6,900), after a court found her guilty on July 3 of “justifying terrorism” for a commentary she published.