Russian soldiers and veterans gathered with their families in Moscow's Gorky Park on August 2 to mark national Paratroopers Day, in part by swimming in public fountains.
A Crimean Tatar activist set himself on fire to protest a plan by Russia-imposed authorities to build a new apartment complex on Tatar land in the Crimean capital, Simferopol. Vatan Karabash doused himself with gasoline on August 3 and set himself alight. People nearby quickly extinguished the flames and Karabash did not appear to suffer life-threatening burns. Local Crimean Tatars fear their homes will be demolished for a new district that will contain apartment units for 9,000 families. WARNING: Disturbing images
German artist Gunter Demnig brought his Stolpersteine, or “stumbling blocks” project, to Moldova, laying the first brass plate on the streets of Chisinau to commemorate persons who were murdered in the Holocaust on the sidewalk in front of the house where they lived.
Protests in Iran over the country’s collapsing currency continued for a third straight day and spread to several cities on August 2.
[Excerpt from Current Time TV’s daily, first-read for Russian-speaking audiences.]
Investigations into the murders of three Russian journalists in the Central African Republic continue, with reports that they were traveling to film gold mines that are being developed by a company linked to Yevgeny Prigozhin, the close Putin associate who is linked to the private military company PWC Vagner. Several months ago, Russia agreed with CAR officials to develop the mines and establish order in the region. There is also speculation that the journalists could have found that Russian mercenaries in the CAR preferred not to fight with anti-government militants, but to negotiate with them for the own benefit.
The United Nations Human Rights Committee has found the government of Turkmenistan responsible for the torture and death in custody after an unfair trial of Ogulsapar Muradova, an RFE/RL correspondent and human rights activist who died in prison in September 2006. (In Russian, Turkmen Service)
An influential bipartisan group of U.S. senators has introduced a package of measures designed to protect “American security from Kremlin aggression,” including new financial sanctions and a “strong statement of support” for NATO.
Russia’s ministry of justice is developing a mechanism to “liquidate” U.S. financed NGOs whose activities are deemed by authorities to be “harmful” to Russia. According to a government website, the period for public discussion of the law is set to expire on August 14. (Russian Service)
The European Court of Human Rights has announced that it has registered a complaint from the Russian NGO Agora about the blocking of the Telegram messenger app in Russia. Journalists Aleksandr Plyushchev and Oleg Kashin have also petitioned the court, stating that Russia’s blocking of Telegram violates their rights to privacy under the European Convention on Human Rights. (Russian Service)
France has conferred the Order of Arts and Letters on detained Russian theater and film director Kirill Serebrennikov, who is under house arrest in Moscow awaiting trial on embezzlement charges that his supporters say are politically motivated.
Ukrainian activist Oleksandr Kostenko was released from a penal colony in Russia on August 3, after serving more than four years on a conviction by a court in Russia-annexed Crimea of attacking security forces during protests in Kyiv in 2014.
A trial has opened behind closed doors in Sevastopol of two Ukrainian nationals, Volodymyr Dudka and Oleksiy Bessarabov, who are charged by Russia's Federal Security Service with plotting sabotage in Russia-annexed Crimea.
Days after a deadly attack on a group of foreign cyclists in a remote region of Tajikistan,an RFE/RL correspondent was detained by security forces during a reporting trip to the the hometown of two of the suspects, and interrogated before having his electronic materials deleted and being forcibly taken to the capital, Dushanbe.
A Levada Center poll released on August 2 says 39 percent of respondents described their impressions of the United States as "mainly good," doubling the response (18 percent) to the same question in May this year.