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Surprise! (RFE/RL Azerbaijani Service)
Surprise! (RFE/RL Azerbaijani Service)


Aliyev Votes In Azerbaijan Referendum Expected To Boost His Power

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev was among the early voters in a referendum on constitutional changes expected to strengthen his grip on power.

Fugitive Russian Protest Artist Seeks Asylum, Supports Putin

A Russian performance artist who built a career thumbing his nose at the authorities now says he supports President Vladimir Putin -- even as he seeks asylum in Europe.

Russia, China, And Central Asia Partners Show Military Might

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which includes China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Russia wrapped up the largest joint military exercises in Kyrgyzstan’s history last week. (In Russian, Current Time TV)

Politicians Fight In Ukrainian Parliament

Aleksey Goncharenko, a lawmaker from the ruling coalition, scuffled with the Opposition Bloc's Mykola Skoryk on September 23 after presenting Skoryk with a bag of dried bread, understood as common prison fare, hinting he would soon need it.


THE POWER VERTICAL: Putin’s Sword And Shield

Reports that the Kremlin is planning to establish a powerful new Ministry of State Security that would absorb most of Russia's security services would mark a sharp departure for Vladimir Putin.

EXPLAINER: Azerbaijan's Referendum

Authorities in Azerbaijan are holding a referendum on September 26 over changes to the country's constitution that are expected to strengthen the grip on power of President Ilham Aliyev and his family.

Kremlin Acknowledges Plan To Hack Internet Traffic

Russian media reports that the “IT and Sovereignty” working group inside Russia’s presidential administration has approved an initiative to use hacking methods to surveille, decode, and analyze all internet traffic in Russia. (In Russian, Current Time TV)

Sweden Remilitarizes Gotland

Sweden is boosting defenses and remilitarizing the island of Gotland, citing “a changed national security map” in the Baltic region. (In Russian)

Advanced Russian Sub Takes Up Station In Pacific

The Vladimir Monomakh, Russia’s newest nuclear-armed submarine, has reached its permanent base at Viluchinsk on the Far Eastern Kamchatka Peninsula.

Ukraine And NATO To Ink Intelligence-Sharing Deal

Ukraine is expected on September 28 to sign an agreement on intelligence-sharing with NATO, a further step in the country’s pursuit of NATO's Enhanced Opportunities Partnership. (In Ukrainian)

Former Crimea Prosecutor To Oversee Deputies’ Disclosure

Crimea’s former Moscow-backed prosecutor Natalia Poklonskaya, who won a seat in Russia’s September 16 Duma elections, will chair a parliamentary commission that oversees deputies’ income and assets. (In Russian)

Relics Of Russian Orthodox Saint To Spend Six Months In Space

After spending nearly nine decades forgotten in a Moscow storeroom during the Soviet era, a box containing a tiny relic of Russian Orthodox St. Serafim of Sarov will be strapped to the chest of the commander of a Soyuz rocket on a mission to the International Space Station.

Bosnian Serbs Back Disputed Holiday In Referendum

Bosnian Serbs have voted overwhelmingly to maintain a Statehood Day holiday on January 9 in a controversial referendum held in defiance of a high-court ruling from Sarajevo.

Georgian Parties Balk At Memorandum On 'Peaceful' Elections

To date, only four of over 30 political parties and electoral blocs have signed a memorandum proposed by Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili pledging not to hinder or obstruct each other's campaigning.

MOST READ/RUSSIA: Russia’s Elite Resembles Swiss Cheese

Valery Solovey, professor at Moscow’s elite MGIMO University, who has accurately forecast several recent Kremlin appointments, predicts splits within Russia’s political elite, most likely among technocrats who “suddenly appear to be social pressure from the bottom becomes more intense.” (Over 165k views on Russian Service website)

PODCAST: Mirziyaev Moves To Consolidate Position As Uzbek Leader

INFOGRAPHIC: Russia’s Air Defense System

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