UN human rights investigator for Belarus Anais Marin has demanded that the government "stop repressing its own people," referring to thousands detained during protests against Alyaksandr Lukashenka. Marin’s demand came after the start of a nationwide strike called by the opposition during which hundreds more were detained. Also watch: Belarusian opposition marchers hit with stun grenades by police.
Ethnic Armenians near the front lines of the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh are taking up arms against the Azerbaijani military.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's bodyguards struggled with a female protester who blocked his way as he and first lady Olena Zelenska approached a polling station in Kyiv to cast their ballots in local elections on October 25. According to Ukrainian media reports, the woman was blowing a whistle to protest against Zelenskiy's "sexism." Outside the polling station, they also filled in questionnaires in an official opinion poll Zelenskiy himself initiated.
As Ukraine’s daily coronavirus infection rate headed above 3,560 cases in late September 2020, Current Time Kyiv correspondent Yulia Zhukova reported how paramedics in the Kyiv region must respond to emergency calls in a dilapidated, rusty ambulance that lacked adequate medicine and even absorbent cotton. After hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians watched the video, Ukrainian Health Minister Maksym Stepanov came to the ambulance station earlier this month to look into matters himself.
Aviation pioneer Igor Sikorsky was designing bombers for the Russian Empire when World War I broke out. Nowadays, the company he founded in the United States makes the "choppers" that transport U.S. presidents. This is the story of how the "father of the helicopter" crossed the Atlantic and made it big -- before designing the first aircraft to make regular flights across the world’s major oceans.
A Belarusian-American political strategist whose detention angered the United States has left Belarus. Vitali Shkliarov’s freedom on October 27 comes days after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo demanded his "full release and immediate departure" in a phone call with Belarusian strongman Alyaksandr Lukashenka. Shkliarov’s lawyer, Anton Hashynski, confirmed to RFE/RL that his client has left the country. Also read: High Stakes In Belarus: Will Tsikhanouskaya's National Strike Gamble Pay Off ?
Current Time TV reports, citing Belarus’ state media, that during a meeting on October 27, President Alyaksandr Lukashenka called on the parents of schoolchildren and university students to remove their kids from the streets “so that it would not hurt later,” adding that the rest will be dealt with to the fullest extent of the law. Additionally, Lukashenka said that students who take part in protest rallies will be expelled from school, noting that some of them should be “sent to the army” or kicked out into the streets. They can walk on the streets, but beforehand “they need to be expelled from the University,” said Lukashenka. (in Russian, Current Time TV)
If he wins another four years in the White House in the election on November 3, U.S. President Donald Trump may make a new push to mend Washington's severely strained relations with Moscow, doubling down on an effort that was swiftly stymied after he took office in 2017. Democratic challenger Joe Biden has vowed, if elected, to take a tough stance toward Russia on issues ranging from its human rights record at home to its assertive actions abroad, including the alleged election meddling that haunted Trump's first term from the start.
Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto has called "pathetic and nonsense" Ukraine's decision to bar the entry of two Hungarian government officials over what Kyiv said was meddling in local elections. In a video message on his Facebook page, Szijjarto said Budapest had not received formal notice of the Ukrainian ban. Although results of the elections have yet to be announced, Szijjarto welcomed what is expected to be the victory of Hungarian candidates in some local areas. Monitors Say Ukraine's Local Vote Was Generally Transparent, Cite 'Widespread' Allegations Of Vote-Buying.
At a hearing on October 27, the Supreme Anti-Corruption Court of Ukraine has decided to resume the investigation into the coal supply scheme Rotterdam+, upholding the complaint of the Nikopol Ferroalloy Plant and overturning decision of the Specialized Anticorruption Prosecutor's Office to close the case. The so-called Rotterdam+ pricing formula was in place from April 2016 until July 2019. It based the wholesale price of electricity by Ukrainian thermal power plants on coal prices set in the Rotterdam port plus delivery costs to Ukraine. (Ukrainian Service)
Jailed former Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambaev has started a hunger strike to protest his transfer to Bishkek's central detention center from the holding facility at the State Committee of the National Security (UKMK). Atambaev's lawyer, Zamir Jooshev, told reporters in Bishkek on October 26 that his client has heart problems and bronchitis and his transfer to "the tougher penitentiary" might worsen his medical condition.
The former chief of Kyrgyzstan's Security Council, Keneshbek Duishobaev, has resigned in protest of anti-corruption efforts by the Central Asian nation's new government that he called little more than "a theatrical show." Talking to reporters in Bishkek on October 27 just hours after his removal from the post was announced, Duishobaev said that last week's detainment and house arrest of the former deputy chief of the Customs Service, Raimbek Matraimov, had raised more questions than it answered.
Georgian Deputy Interior Minister Vladimer Bortsvadze has officially identified a man suspected in an attempted bank robbery that turned into a hostage-taking incident before he made off with the ransom money. Bortsvadze said late on October 26 that Badri Esebua, born in 1988, is suspected in a crime that shocked the South Caucasus nation last week. "The police are actively conducting special operative, investigative, and search operations to determine his whereabouts and detain him," Bortsvadze said.
The head of Russia's Investigative Committee has ordered the agency’s Main Investigative Directorate to take over the investigation into last week's high-profile killing of Aleksandr Petrov, a businessman and local lawmaker in the northwestern Leningrad region. The Investigative Committee announced Aleksandr Bastrykin’s decision on October 26, saying it would allow a more thorough and objective probe into the "ordered assassination."
Commenting on reports that caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad were shown on government buildings in France at rallies in memory of the murdered teacher Samuel Pati, the head of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, wrote on his Telegram channel that he believes that by supporting the publication of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, French President Emmanuel Macron himself becomes like a terrorist and makes “veiled calls on Muslims to commit terrorist acts.” (Russian Service/Kavkaz Realii)
A court in Russia has refused to release a Jehovah's Witness, Danish citizen Dennis Christensen, who was sentenced to six years in prison on extremism charges that have been condemned by rights groups in Russia and abroad. The Jehovah’s Witnesses' website said that a court in Russia's western region of Kursk on October 26 refused to replace Christensen's unserved term with a fine, despite the fact that the same court had approved such a move in June. Christensen was arrested in May 2017 and sentenced in February 2019.
A Russian court is set to hear on October 27 the appeal of Aleksandr Shabarchin, an activist who was jailed over a satirical video featuring a mannequin of President Vladimir Putin, and sentenced to two years in a penal colony. Ahead of the hearing, Amnesty International called for Shabarchin’s immediate and unconditional release, saying the activist was “a prisoner of conscience, imprisoned solely for the exercise of his right to freedom of expression.”
MAJLIS PODCAST: The Power Grab In Kyrgyzstan