For now, the West can have better relations with Russia, or it can stick to its values.
On September 1, 2004, Chechen militants stormed an elementary school in the town of Beslan in the Russian republic of North Ossetia. They took 1,100 teachers, children, and their relatives hostage, demanding the withdrawal of federal forces from Chechnya as a condition for their release.
Families laid flowers at a memorial in the Serbian capital in honor of relatives who disappeared in the wars of the 1990s. According to the Red Cross, the number of missing people in the former Yugoslavia exceeds 10,000.
Tajikistan has passed a law that urges citizens to wear traditional clothes in what appears to be an effort to discourage women from wearing the Islamic hijab.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says that Moscow is examining the U.S. demand for the closure of three diplomatic missions in the United States and will respond after further study.
The United States has ordered the closure of Russia’s consulate in San Francisco, escalating a diplomatic tit-for-tat that followed Moscow’s demand for a sharp cut in U.S. diplomatic personnel in Russia.
The Association Agreement strengthening ties between Ukraine and the European Union entered into force on September 1, marking an end to four years of political drama surrounding the accord.
Anti-corruption crusader Aleksei Navalny released a new video on August 30 that examines a Russian island near the Finnish border where a venerable country house has been restored and, he alleges, used by Russian President Vladimir Putin for holidays.
A suspect in the criminal investigation into prominent Russian theater and film director Kirill Serebrennikov has warned of a looming clampdown by authorities and urged “uncompromising resistance” in the fraud case that has sent shock waves through Russia’s political and cultural classes.
The studio of Russian director Aleksei Uchitel, who has been under pressure from conservative activists for his film highlighting the romantic youth of Tsar Nicholas II, has reportedly been attacked.
The trial of Crimean journalist Mykola Semena will resume later this month after the first hearing in weeks produced little progress toward a resolution of the politically charged case.
The investigative group Municipal Scanner reports that companies associated with Russian President Vladimir Putin's closest associates have acquired an unfinished residence in Crimea that previously belonged to former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych. (Russian Service)
Ukrainian authorities say they have expelled Russian state TV correspondent Anna Kurbatova, despite condemnation from Russia and the OSCE.
Estonia has barred three Russian journalists from covering an EU meeting in Tallinn on September 7, only days after Ukraine expelled a reporter working with Russian state TV.
Belarus opposition leader Nikolai Statkevich was released from jail on August 31 after serving a five-day jail sentence for protesting the forthcoming “Zapad 2017” military exercises. Statkevich told RFE/RL that the actions targeting him and his family are intended to force them to leave the country. (Belarus Service)
Belarus authorities said on August 31 that a Ukrainian teenager whose disappearance has triggered claims of a Russia-orchestrated kidnapping entered the country a week earlier, but that they have no record of his departure.
Former Kyrgyz President Roza Otunbaeva says her successor, incumbent Almazbek Atambaev, has reversed "all the country's achievements" over the last two years.