Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius told Current Time TV that Russia represents the biggest obstacle to the peace process in Ukraine, as it misleadingly represents itself as a “neutral party” in the conflict, “while it is an active participant.”
The parents of people who are being investigated in connection with this summer’s Moscow protests have coalesced into advocacy groups — Novoye Velichye (New Greatness) and Syet (Network) — and are conducting one-person pickets to support those arrested for their political views, and their relatives. (Current Time TV)
Syrian Kurds near the border town of Kobane threw stones at a joint Russian-Turkish military police convoy as it passed through the area on November 5. Amateur video also shows residents holding signs and chanting in protest against the joint patrol.
The troop withdrawal has finished in the zone #2, near the Zolote village in Ukraine’s Luhansk region. Now the demilitarization phase and deconstruction of military constructions has begun. (Ukrainian Service)
Militants of the Islamic State (IS) extremist group have attacked a border post in Tajikistan, killing a border guard and one police officer, Tajik authorities say. Tajikistan’s National Security Committee has said the attackers came from neighboring Afghanistan. The IS group did not confirm it was behind the overnight assault.
The Moscow City Court has upheld a lower court's decision not to seize a 20-month-old child from his parents after they brought him to a protest rally over the summer. Prosecutors had argued that the couple had put him in danger and neglected their parental duties.The higher court ruled that leaving the child in its parents' custody was legal.
American actor Steven Seagal will consult on a project designed by the state Russian Geographical Society aimed at promoting tourism in Crimea. Crimea is currently under U.S. and EU sanctions, following its forcible annexation by Russia in 2014. Russian President Vladimir Putin extolled the project, named Golden Ring of the Bosporan Kingdom, for “showing Russia to the world in all its diversity.” (in Russian, Current Time TV)
Ukraine plans to increase annual spending on defense and security next year by 16 percent to more than $9 billion even as Kyiv gradually moves toward securing talks to end the conflict in the eastern part of the country. About 5.5 percent of economic output will go toward supporting these sectors – nearly three times higher than NATO’s recommended spending target of 2 percent of gross domestic product.
Russia’s Transport Ministry has selected the company Grand Service Express to oversee passenger railway traffic across the Kerch Bridge. According to the Russian tax service, the company is owned by Moscow-based Zheldorkonsalting LLC, which is linked to three offshore companies in the British Virgin Islands and Cyprus. One of the companies is reportedly associated with Russian businessman Mikhail Rabinoivch and the former Russian railway magnate and close Putin ally Vladimir Yakunin. (Ukrainian Service/Crimea Realities)
Belarusian authorities have decided not to extradite opposition activist and journalist Farhod Odinaev to his native Tajikistan, where he is wanted by the government for alleged membership in a banned organization and supporting extremism.
Tofiq Yaqublu, deputy chairman of the opposition Musavat Party, has told a court that he was savagely tortured in police custody after being arrested on October 19 before an unauthorized rally in Baku. He is serving a 30-day sentence on charges of failing to obey police orders.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian has called on fellow member states of the Russia-led Collective Security Treaty Organization to “consider the interests of all participating nations” when it comes to foreign policy and military-technical cooperation. The remarks were a thinly veiled criticism of Russia and Belarus -- two members of the group that have supplied weapons to nonmember Azerbaijan.
First there was the priest sentenced for allegedly plotting to poison a top church official. Then there was the priest who alleged that Georgia’s prime minister and a billionaire businessman wanted to kill the church’s revered spiritual leader. And then there was the other priest who accused the church’s leader on live TV of being “possessed by the sin of pederasty and sodomy.” It’s high drama and low politics in the Georgian Orthodox Church these days, experts say.
Latvian President Egils Levits has signed a new law terminating the assignment of “noncitizen” status to newborn children, effective January 1, 2020. The term “non-citizen,” which dates from 1991, has been applied to persons who came to Latvia after it lost its independence to the USSR in 1940, and restricts their eligibility for naturalization. (in Russian, Current Time TV)
A poll conducted by the Moscow Carnegie Center and Levada Center indicates that the number of respondents who favor “decisive changes” in Russia has grown since 2017 from 42% to 59%. 53% of respondents say reforms are possible only with serious changes in the political system, while 34% say they are possible under the current system. The number of respondents who believe that President Vladimir Putin is able to offer an attractive reform program has decreased from 25% to 16%. (Russian Service)