The U.S. House of Representatives has overwhelmingly passed a resolution that describes the killings of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire at the beginning of the 20th century as genocide, a move hailed by Armenia but met with outrage in Ankara.
Demonstrators gathered in Kyiv in front of the Presidential Administration in Kyiv to protest the withdrawal of troops in the eastern Donbas region. Organizers said they wished to convey to the authorities that many Ukrainians view the withdrawal as surrender. (Ukrainian Service)
Secretly taken photographs, some published here for the first time, show the lengths Czechoslovakia’s communist authorities went to spy on their own citizens.
Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs Péter Szijjártó has announced that Budapest has blocked the joint statement of the representatives of NATO countries on Ukraine. He explained the veto saying that the document fails to reflect a number of proposals made by Hungary obliging Ukraine to address the rights of the Hungarian community in its western region. Russian President Vladimir Putin has just concluded a visit to Hungary, where he met with Prime Minister Viktor Orban. (Russian Service)
Kyiv and Russia-backed separatists have begun withdrawing troops and weapons from a front-line area in eastern Ukraine, as part of a plan to end the Donbas region's five-year conflict. An OSCE representative said on October 29 that the sides "renewed the disengagement" in the town of Zolote in the eastern Luhansk region, and "continued negotiations” over disengagement in the nearby town of Petrivske.
The Moscow City Court has denied bail to U.S. investor Michael Calvey and ruled to extend his house arrest and that of his partner, French citizen Philippe Delpal, until January 13. Calvey and several other executives of the Russia-based private-equity group Baring Vostok were detained in Moscow in February and charged with financial fraud.
Energy is expected to be high on the agenda when Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on October 30 in Budapest. Since Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014, Orban has met at least once a year with Putin -- twice in 2017 -- while being a strong advocate for the EU to ease sanctions on Russia.
Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel has praised Moscow for its support in an increasingly bitter standoff between Havana and Washington "U.S. aggression against Cuba is escalating," Diaz-Canel said, according to remarks translated by the Kremlin, as he met Russian President Vladimir Putin at his Novo-Ogaryovo residence on October 29.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has proposed that new legislation be developed to criminalize the promotion of drugs and drug use on the Internet. He has also proposed allowing the extrajudicial blocking of websites that provide information on manufacturing and obtaining illegal and psychoactive substances. (in Russian, Current Time TV)
Residents of several villages in Russia’s Krasnoyarsk region have for months been complaining to local and regional authorities about the “barbaric” methods used by gold mining companies, citing the collapse of a dam on the Seiba river that killed 15 people, deforestation, and river pollution as depredations that have forced people to leave. (In Russian, Siberia Realities)
Moscow biologist and DNA specialist Denis Rebrikov has announced his ambitions to genetically modify human embryos for pregnancy using a technique nicknamed CRISPR. Then, this month, he said he'd begun lab edits on human eggs with the ultimate aim of clipping out a mutation that can cause deafness. He has assured the world that he won't go further without permission from Russian authorities.
Hundreds of millions of dollars in investments and loans were promised on October 29 at the first Ukrainian government-sponsored investment forum since President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s election. Most of the money would be channeled to the government-controlled part of the Donbas where the two easternmost regions of Luhansk and Donetsk are located.
A specialist at Ukraine’s central bank was arrested on October 29 for allegedly soliciting $50,000 from a businessman while promising to secure a license to operate a currency exchange. The suspect was reportedly arrested outside the National Bank of Ukraine building in central Kyiv while accepting $40,000 in cash.
The Bulgarian Foreign Ministry has given a Russian diplomat accused of espionage 24 hours to leave the country after learning that its request for Moscow to recall him by October 28 had not been fulfilled. The diplomat, whose name has not been disclosed, is one of nine first secretaries at the Russian Embassy in Sofia.
The Committee to Protect Journalists has called on authorities in Bosnia-Herzegovina to investigate threats made against journalist Avdo Avdic, who has written about cases of alleged money laundering and international drug cartels.
The European Court of Human Rights has condemned Bosnia-Herzegovina for its failure to hold municipal elections in the ethnically divided city of Mostar for more than a decade. The matter stems from the authorities' failure to enforce a decision by the country's Constitutional Court in 2010.
A group of exiled Tajik journalists and activists has condemned a move by Tajikistan’s central bank to include their named on its list of alleged terrorists. In a joint statement on October 29, the six opposition journalists and activists, who are living in self-imposed exile in the European Union, called the move politically motivated and demanded that their names be removed from the list.
Russia has donated over $5 million in arms and military equipment to Tajikistan, including a radar station and modernized armored reconnaissance and patrol vehicles. The transfer was made at the conclusion of military drills held by the Collective Security Treaty Organization. Russian Colonel-General Alexander Lapin said the equipment “will increase the combat potential” of Tajikistan’s armed forces, and preserve peace and security in the region. (in Russian, Current Time TV)
In its 2019 Global Impunity Index, the Committee to Protect Journalists says "impunity" in the cases of murdered journalists remains "firmly entrenched" in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Russia, and 10 other countries across the world.
A new national poll by the Levada Center has found that arbitrary treatment by authorities is among Russians’ top three fears, climbing from 7th place in July 2017. The Center’s Deputy Director Denis Volkov told Russian media that the fear is in response to the country’s recent pension reform and a fall in real incomes. Political scientist Konstantin Kalachev attributes it to the forceful dispersal of public rallies this summer in Moscow, and the effects of the case of journalist Ivan Golunov, who was briefly imprisoned on fabricated drug charges earlier this year. (Russian Service)