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Attention! Madame Sobchak, Please Report To The Candidate Registration Booth…(RFE/RL Russian Service)

VISUAL REPORTS

THE POWER VERTICAL: Just A Kremlin Patsy?

Sobchak’s entry into Russia’s presidential campaign could take it in unpredictable, and unmanageable, directions.

Protesters Clash With Police At Tent Camp In Kyiv

Ukrainian protesters have erected tents outside the parliament building in Kyiv as part of a protest demanding that President Petro Poroshenko enact anti-corruption reforms or step down.

Tajikistan's Gold Rush

Government officials in Tajikistan say gold production continued to rise in the first part of 2017, thanks in part to increased foreign investment, particularly from China.

The KGB Man Who Joined The Taliban

Bakhrudin Khakimov is one of hundreds of Soviet personnel who remained in Afghanistan after the Red Army withdrew in chaos in 1989.

Corruption, Terror In Focus As Czechs Vote

Czechs go to the polls in national elections on October 20-21, with opinion polls tipping billionaire businessman Andrej Babis to emerge as the winner, despite being charged with fraud 11 days before the vote.

OTHER NEWS

Socialite Ksenia Sobchak Announces Candidacy For Russian Presidency

Ksenia Sobchak, the Russian socialite, TV personality, opposition activist, and daughter of a former St. Petersburg mayor, said she will run in Russia’s presidential election in March, a challenge to President Vladimir Putin, who is widely expected to stand for reelection.

Russian Oil Giant Rosneft Says Signs Production Deal With Iraqi Kurdistan

Russian state-owned oil giant Rosneft says it has signed a production-sharing agreement with Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region worth up to $400 million.

Amnesty Assails Russian Verdict Against LGBTI Activist

Amnesty International has urged Russian authorities to abolish "homophobic legislation” used to punish an activist who shared LGBTI-related articles on Facebook.

Russian School Director Threatens 15-Year-Old Navalny Fan

In the latest of several such warnings received by Russian students who support opposition leader Aleksei Navalny, a school director in the Far East city of Khabarovsk reportedly told a 15-year-old student that he would be investigated by security services, and called Navalny a tool in a U.S. plot against Russia.

Pavlensky Goes On Hunger Strike

French media, citing Pyotr Pavlensky’s lawyer, reports that the controversial Russian artist, who is awaiting trial on arson charges after setting fire to the Bank of France building in Paris after midnight on October 16, has launched a hunger strike to protest the lack of "public debate" before the judge. (Russian Service)

Ukrainian Parliament To Consider Lifting Lawmakers' Immunity

Ukraine’s parliament is set to consider changes in the electoral law and the immunity of lawmakers from prosecution amid demands from protesters to clamp down on corruption.

Kyiv Embarks On Healthcare Reform

A bill adopted by Ukraine’s parliament on October 19 paves the way for national healthcare reform. Among other things, the law defines those medical services that are covered by the state, and those requiring patient contributions. (Ukrainian Service)

Visa-Free Ukrainians Flock To EU

Ukraine’s border authorities have said almost 300,000 Ukrainians have traveled to EU countries in the four months since the bloc granted them visa-free travel. Despite some predictions, there is no reported rise in illegal immigration. (Ukrainian Service)

Suspicious Suicides Focus Spotlight On Hazing In Belarusian Army

For the second time in less than six months, a recruit has been found hanged at an army base in Belarus, sparking a debate about "dedovshchina," the particularly brutal form of hazing inherited from the days of the Soviet Union, and calls for the resignation of the country's defense minister.

Tajikistan's Registry Frightens Gays, Alarms Rights Activists

Firuz, a 30-year-old gay man in Dushanbe, was not surprised by the announcement from the Tajik Prosecutor-General’s Office that it had compiled a list of what it says are 370 gay women and men.

BLOGGING THE BALKANS: Macedonia’s Social Democrats Promise Europe

ANALYSIS: Attempted Murder Of Ingush Preacher Aggravates Sufi-Salafi Conflict

Recent reports that the Federal Security Service thwarted an attempt to assassinate charismatic Salafi preacher Khamzat Chumakov and arrested three of the four would-be perpetrators risk exacerbating the long-standing conflict in Ingushetia between the adherents of traditional Sufi Islam and Salafi Islam believers.

MOST READ/RUSSIA: Kyiv Embarks On Civil-Military Strategy To Reclaim Donbas

Ukraine’s national army is recruiting officers with experience in civil-military relations and trained civilian peacekeepers as part of a strategy aimed at reintegrating the eastern, separatist controlled territories of Luhansk and Donetsk. (over 56k views on Russian Service website)

INFOGRAPHIC: Alaska -- The Best Deal The U.S. Ever Made?

About Svoboda Today

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