RFE/RL's Belarus Service discovered that many Belarusians had no idea whom they were voting for in the country’s September 11 parliamentary elections.
Many factors will undermine the legitimacy of Russia’s next Duma, but chief among them is the fact that it will include deputies elected from Russia-annexed Crimea.
Azerbaijani opposition activists held a rare mass protest in Baku calling for the cancellation of a September 26 referendum expected to consolidate and perpetuate President Ilham Aliyev’s rule.
Activists in Kyiv called on parliament to dismiss some 700 judges appointed by ousted pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych.
While the results of Belarus’s parliamentary elections are expected to keep in power allies of strongman President Alyaksandr Lukashenka, the Central Election Commission announced on September 12 that two opposition candidates had won seats, the first time the opposition will be represented in parliament in 20 years.
Citing Moscow’s plans to hold Russian Duma elections in Crimea, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on September 10 declared a ban on polling stations for the Duma elections on all territories belonging to Ukraine. (In Russian, Current Time TV)
In the run-up to the September 18 elections to Russia’s State Duma, Samara regional governor Nikolai Merkushkin has been working hard to portray the vote as a stark choice between the ruling United Russia party and the CIA.
Russian tycoon and Kremlin critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky has launched a project allowing participants to vote online for alternatives to Russian President Vladimir Putin in the 2018 presidential election.
Spain has experienced a sharp decline in middle-class Russian tourists, but more and more wealthy Russians are buying luxury properties and businesses in the country’s south. Spanish financial experts say the real money is in investment funds, and international companies and banks based in Spain. (In Russian)
Ukrainian Orthodox priest Alexander Dedyukhin made a public show of allowing his congregants to play Pokemon Go in church after a Russian court sentenced Ruslan Sokolovsly to house arrest on September 8 for doing so. In an interview with RFE/RL, Dedyukhin said the Russian Church manipulates its followers and intimidates the population. (In Russian)
Five prominent Azerbaijani human rights activists have appealed to the Council of Europe to assess the controversial amendments to the Azerbaijani Constitution that are to be put to a nationwide referendum on September 26.
According to Belarus’s National Statistics Committee, 13.6 percent of Belarusians live on more than $677 per month; 61.9 percent of Belarusians live on $451 per month; 7.7 percent live on $169-$225 per month, and 2.8 percent live on less than $169. (In Belarusian)