Speaking at an energy forum in Moscow on October 3, Russian President Vladimir Putin called Sergei Skripal a "traitor" and a "scumbag," and said the dispute over his poisoning was "another spy scandal that has been artificially pumped up."
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian says he will continue to push for early general elections to be held in December rather than next year, as proposed by his political opponents.
Thousands of people have demonstrated in Russia's North Caucasus region of Ingushetia to protest against a controversial deal establishing the administrative boundary with Chechnya. (Caucasus Realities website)
A British national security report released on October 3 accuses Russian military intelligence of being behind a host of recent cyberattacks seeking to undermine critical Western institutions from sports and transportation authorities to election processes.
The Dutch Ministry of Defense has announced that the government expelled four Russian military intelligence agents from the country in April for attempting to carry out a cyberattack on the headquarters of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons at The Hague. The OPCW has been involved in the investigation of the Skripal poisoning case and chemical weapons use in Syria. (Russian Service)
Russia expects to export a record amount of natural gas this year, according to Russian business and government officials at an energy conference in Moscow on October 3 who said that exports could exceed 200 billion cubic meters, surpassing an all-time high of 194 billion cubic meters in 2017.
A museum director in Russia's Karelia region has been arrested on suspicion of corrupting a minor in a case that observers say may be connected to the prosecution of Stalin-era historian Yury Dmitriyev, who heads the Karelia branch of the human rights group Memorial.
Undefeated in 26 fights and the reigning world champion lightweight in mixed-martial arts fighting, Khabib Nurmagomedov is beloved in his North Caucasus homeland of Daghestan. But when Nurmagomedov -- known as The Eagle -- takes on MMA legend Conor McGregor in Las Vegas, Nevada, on October 6, many of his Russian compatriots say they will be cheering for the brash, trash-talking Irishman.
The World Chess Federation (FIDE) has elected a new president, picking Kremlin favorite Arkady Dvorkovich over current FIDE deputy president Georgios Makropoulos of Greece to replace longtime chief Kirsan Ilyumzhinov.
Ukrainian anticorruption investigators have launched a probe into alleged illegal enrichment by Serhiy Semochko, a deputy head of the country’s Foreign Intelligence Service, whose family reportedly owns three villas worth millions of dollars.
Ukraine has declared a Hungarian consul persona non grata and demanded he leave the country within 72 hours. The Foreign Ministry on October 4 accused the diplomat, who is based in the western Ukrainian town of Berehove near the Hungarian border, of "activities incompatible with the status of a consular officer."
"NATO's door remains open," Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said in Brussels on October 3, 10 years after the Western military organization first promised the South Caucasus country it would become a member.
Kyrgyzstan's Supreme Court has ruled that the immunity enjoyed by the country's former presidents is unconstitutional, and ordered the government to initiate amendments to cancel the immunity for ex-presidents.
According to a recent Levada center poll, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s approval rating fell to 58% in September, approaching a low point of 55% registered in 2013. The number of respondents who say Putin is “not trustworthy at all” has increased to 13% from 4% in 2017. (in Russian, Current Time TV)