In remarks made during his visit to Finland, Russia President Vladimir Putin played down the significance of recent large street protests in Moscow, attributing them to "preelection tensions" and justifying the large number of detentions by police.
It’s 100 years since the end of Afghanistan’s 1919 War of Independence, also known as the Third Anglo-Afghan War.
Deep in a Baltic forest, some of the Soviet Union’s most hard-line leaders prepared to survive the apocalypse in a secret bunker.
Speaking ahead of a summit in the resort town of Biarritz this weekend, French President Emmanuel Macron said that readmitting Russia into the G7 group of leading industrialized nations without resolving the Ukraine crisis would be a "strategic error" and underscore the "weakness" of the grouping.
Five Ukrainian nationals held in Russia -- Volodymyr Balukh, Stanislav Klykh, Oleksandr Kolchenko, Pavlo Hryb, and Mykola Karpyuk -- may be handed over to Kyiv to serve the rest of their sentences at home, the Interfax news agency and Kommersant have reported. Reports say that 24 Ukrainian sailors detained by Russian forces in November near the Kerch Strait might be transferred to Ukraine as well. Additionally, the TASS news agency is reporting that Ukrainian-held Russian citizens Aleksandr Baranov, Maksim Odintsov, and Yevgeny Mefyodov, once soldiers of the Ukrainian Army in Crimea who joined Russian forces after 2014, are preparing for a prisoner exchange "in the nearest future."
Russian President Vladimir Putin has said the August 8 accident at a northern military base occurred during testing of a weapons system, but added that he could not reveal everything about the incident for security reasons. Speaking on August 21 in Finland, Putin said radiation monitoring systems were working and that radiation levels were normal, including for neighboring countries.
A monitoring group has recorded a new advance by Russia’s military from South Ossetia beyond the de facto border with Georgia. A video records masked border guards digging columns for a new fence into the ground. Said one expert, “The place where we stood on our last visit is already behind the fence on the “other” side.” (in Russian, Caucasus Realities)
Prosecutors in the Perm region have brought charges of defacing the area and violating migration laws against members of an expedition organized this month by Memorial, the Russian NGO that documents victims of Stalin-era repression. Participants say they had planned to clear the debris-strewn cemetery of a village once inhabited by Lithuanians exiled to the area under Josef Stalin, and to honor the memory of deceased relatives.
Russian former world chess champion Anatoly Karpov has since March been unable to get a nonimmigrant visa to the United States to teach at a summer camp in New York. Karpov, 68, one of the greatest chess players of his time, has visited the United States regularly since 1972, the year that American Bobby Fischer wrested the chess crown from Soviet hegemony.
The Russian space rocket Soyuz completed a successful launch to the International Space Station on August 22 with Robot Fedor aboard. The robot will spend 17 days at the station serving as an “artificial cosmonaut,” carrying out tasks such as transmitting telemetry and determining parameters related to flight safety. (in Russian, Current Time TV)
Ukraine’s specialized anti-corruption prosecutor’s office is placing Dmytro Vovk on an international wanted list for alleged involvement in a multimillion-dollar electricity price-fixing scheme. Vovk, who is reportedly studying at Harvard University, has said that “As long as the head of the presidential office controls" the country’s anti-corruption law enforcement agencies and the judiciary, "I'm not ready to come" to Ukraine.
A joint statement signed by President Klaus Iohannis and his U.S. counterpart, Donald Trump, in Washington does not mention Huawei by name, but says the two leaders "seek to avoid the security risks that accompany Chinese investment in 5G telecommunications networks."
The International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) executive board on August 21 recommended removing the age limit for the lender’s managing director position, paving the way for Bulgaria’s Kristalina Georgieva to get approval for the job. Georgieva’s appointment also requires approval from the IMF’s board of governors.
Apple, Google, and Mozilla have announced they will implement “technical solutions” to block Kazakhstan’s rollout of controversial encryption software known as Qaznet, which critics say Internet users are obliged to install as part of a government move to monitor their online activities.
Citing "newly revealed circumstances," Kyrgyzstan's Supreme Court has canceled the guilty verdicts against jailed opposition politicians Omurbek Tekebaev and former Emergency Situations Minister Duishonkul Chotonov. Both were convicted in 2017 of bribe-taking and sentenced to eight years in prison.