In an interview with RFE/RL on October 31, Acting U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Philip Reeker criticized "certain leaders" in the European Union for holding what he called a "19th century view" of the Western Balkans, after the EU failed to begin membership talks with Albania and North Macedonia.
Troop withdrawal in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region is continuing on both sides amid protests in Kyiv and near the village of Zolote, at the demarcation line. Some unofficial Ukrainian fighters are determined to remain in the area, claiming that sooner or later Russia will once again send in troops. After full disarmament is completed, only Ukrainian police are expected to remain in the village. (Current Time TV/Crimea Realities)
Armenian politicians and the public have reacted to a resolution by the U.S. House of Representatives that describes the killings of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire at the beginning of the 20th century as genocide.
Social media posts relating to Chechnya overwhelmingly support the government, and leave no issue relating to Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov and his officials untouched. Trolls show no concern that their posts use the same photos and wording, and even use “individual” comments to say only “you’re right” or “I agree. (in Russian, Caucasus Realities)
A model of Russia’s capital city is set to reopen with 1,000 new miniature buildings being added to it.
Russia's Defense Ministry says it has test-launched a Bulava intercontinental ballistic missile from its most advanced nuclear-powered submarine, submerged in the White Sea near Arkhangelsk, striking a target thousands of kilometers away.
Denmark has granted Russia’s state-controlled energy company, Gazprom, permission to build a controversial gas export pipeline through Danish waters. The October 30 approval removes the last major regulatory hurdle for Gazprom to complete its 1,230 kilometer Nord Stream 2 pipeline along the Baltic Sea floor from Russia to Germany.
Facebook says it has taken down three networks of nearly 200 accounts that attempted to interfere in the domestic affairs of eight African countries, and which were linked to "entities associated” with Yevgeny Prigozhin, a Kremlin-connected businessman accused of meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Speaking at a press conference in Kyiv on October 31 after talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has demanded that “Russia must end supporting separatists in east Ukraine," and called on it to withdraw all Russian forces from Ukrainian territory.
Russia has reported that its 89th “humanitarian” convoy has entered separatist-controlled territory in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region, delivering more than 550 tons of “baby food kits.” Russia has sent “humanitarian” convoys over the border since August 2014. Ukrainian customs and border services have been unable to inspect the trucks. (Ukrainian Service)
An analysis by Russia’s state auditing chamber has found that up to 60% of state subsidies for Russian films were sent either to companies registered in Cyprus or provided to Russian organizations with up to nine employees. The chamber explained the high level of offshore transfers saying that Russia’s filmmaking industry is opaque. (Russian Service)
The Ukrainian parliament has lifted the immunity of Deputy Yaroslav Dubnevych, who previously headed the legislature’s transport committee and oversaw the country’s railroads. He is accused of embezzlement and abuse of official position in activities that brought $3.7 million in damages to the state. (in Russian Current Time TV)
Bulgaria has denied a long-term visa to an incoming Russian defense attache, a day after expelling a Russian diplomat on suspicion of espionage.
Two mid-level managers at Amonatbank, Tajikistan's largest state-owned bank, have been arrested and charged with taking part in illegal cross-border financial transactions. The men reportedly sought to smuggle $50,000 plus a "large amount" of Tajik somonis into neighboring Kyrgyzstan in an attempt to trade it on the foreign exchange market there.