Former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has said that Russia's motive in the five-day war a decade ago was to attack "Georgian statehood.” Commenting on current matters, he said Georgia’s leadership is making the country “very vulnerable.”
The Sea of Azov, a rich fishing ground in Soviet times that has been of great strategic importance to independent Ukraine, has emerged after months of growing friction as the latest flash point in the four-year conflict between Moscow and Kyiv.
A global cycling adventure for a couple from Washington ended in a deadly attack claimed by Islamic militants in Tajikistan. The pair took respite in a village garden and were full of joy the day before the attack.
The commander is Serbian-American, the captain is Kosovar-American. They work together to set an example as peacekeepers in Kosovo.
The U.S. Department of Justice announced on August 6 that Russian nationals Kirill Dedusev, Aleksei Livadny, Nikolai Tupikin, and Stanislav Lisitsky had been arrested by the FBI last week on suspicion of money laundering and fraud.
An unofficial group of countries calling themselves “friends of Georgia” has published a letter on the 10-year anniversary of the Russian invasion calling on Moscow to withdraw its troops from Georgian territories and withhold recognition of the self-declared independent states of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The signatories are Canada, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Sweden, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the U.S. (Russian Service)
A fourth resident of Russia's Altai region in Siberia has been charged with inciting hatred via posts on the Internet.
Russia’s Central Election Commission announced on August 8 that it is prepared to hold a referendum on pension reform, but “initiative” groups proposing the poll must first satisfy onerous requirements before a date can be set, including establishing regional chapters across the Federation and collecting 2 million signatures. (in Russian, Current Time TV)
Russian opposition politician Aleksei Navalny has called for mass demonstrations across Russia to protest a government plan to raise the retirement age, scheduling the rallies for September 9, the day Russia is holding local elections.
Ukraine’s Minister of Infrastructure has told local media that Kyiv is considering shutting down a railway connection between Ukraine and Moscow. Whether other rail links between the two countries could face closure is unclear. In February, it was reported that the railway’s most profitable routes are between Kyiv and Moscow and Odesa and Moscow. Ukraine suspended direct flights with Russia in 2015. (Ukrainian Service)
On the 87th day of Ukrainian film-maker Oleh Sentsov’s hunger strike, a large banner demanding his immediate release and that of other political prisoners in Russia has been displayed in downtown Moscow.
Mehman Huseynov, an anticorruption blogger in custody in Azerbaijan, was allowed to attend his mother's funeral on August 7. Huseynov is serving a two-year sentence after being convicted of libel when he said he had been beaten by police in January 2017.
Five Belarusian journalists, all women, remain in custody after police detained them on August 7, accusing them of illegally obtaining information from the state-run news agency, BelTA.
Senior government officials in Kosovo and Serbia have indicated a willingness to consider border changes as part of a peace process aimed at ending a dispute over Kosovo’s independence that has hampered both countries’ accession to the European Union.
Human rights groups have called on the Tajik government to lift a "politically motivated travel ban" on an independent activist's family, and put an end to its "vicious campaign of intimidation" against dissidents' relatives.