Turkmenistan Reduces Suburbs To Rubble
Bulldozers smashed down houses in suburbs of the Turkmen capital, Ashgabat, in the latest phase of the country's controversial demolition program. The demolitions are not reported in Turkmen media, and homeowners say they receive no compensation.
Funeral For Tajik Security Chief Killed In Gunbattle
A funeral has been held for Rustam Amakiev, a senior Tajik security official who was killed two days ago in a gun battle with supporters of former mutinous Deputy Defense Minister Abduhalim Nazarzoda. The summary of a panel discussion about Tajikistan’s recent crisis is here.
Putin’s Narrative About the Islamic State Threat
Russia's conflation of all armed opposition groups with extremist Islamist militants is an integral part of a narrative that has evolved during the Syrian conflict. The narrative makes use of several arguments to advance Moscow’s aims in the Middle East. An infographic about the weapons Russia is delivering to Syria is here.
Poroshenko Removes Journalists From Sanctions List
Responding to international criticism, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko his removed foreign journalists from a sanctions list decreed yesterday that was explained as limiting security threats associated with forthcoming elections in separatist-controlled regions. (In Russian)
Russian Deputy Calls for Investigation of TV “Rain”
Deputy Alexei Zhuravlev has requested that the general prosecutor’s office “look into” the activities of the independent TV channel “Rain,” (Dozhd), contending that its programs discredit Russia in relation to the conflict in Ukraine and violate the law on countering extremist activity. (In Russian)
Outcry Mounts As Russian Governor Accused In Journalist's Beating
Russian cultural figures are protesting the continued regional rule of Pskov Oblast Governor Andrei Turchak over allegations that he ordered a near-fatal attack on journalist Oleg Kashin in 2010. The wife of one defendant in the case says she has an audio recording to prove it.
Russia Detains Top Civil Rights Activist On Fraud Charges
A Moscow court has placed leading human rights activist Andrei Mayakov, the deputy head of the Committee for Civil Rights, in pre-trial detention on allegations of bribery.
Ukrainian Deputy Is Stripped Of Immunity And Arrested
Ihor Mosiychuk, a deputy with the populist Radical Party, has been stripped of his parliamentary immunity and was taken into custody after a video emerged of him allegedly negotiating bribes worth tens of thousands of dollars.(In Ukrainian)
Ukraine Livid As Putin, Berlusconi Swig Crimea's Oldest Bottle Of Wine
Crimean prosecutors now exiled in mainland Ukraine say the two leaders uncorked a 240 year-old bottle of Spanish wine produced during the reign of Catherine the Great and brought to Crimea by then-Governor General Count Mikhail Vorontsov.