Only days after authorities in Tajikistan responded piecemeal to the accreditation requests of 18 RFE/RL journalists and staff, RFE/RL President Jamie Fly met with Tajik President Emomali Rahmon to press for the rights of Tajik audiences to receive objective reporting, and for RFE/RL journalists to work freely and without intimidation.
In an extensive interview with RFE/RL’s Balkan Service, Czech Foreign Minister Tomas Petricek commented on a broad range of issues relating to the Western Balkans, including prospects for EU membership and regional peace.
Fists flew at Kyiv airport when a close aide of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy was confronted by a former member of parliament, who subsequently posted video of the incident. The assailant, Oleh Lyashko, has a history of brawls.
In Russia's remote Altai region, people are heading to the mountains in thick snow to gather riches that literally grow on trees: pine nuts. Thanks to Altai, Russia is the world's largest supplier of pine nuts. Altai is also known as the planned site of a pipeline that will deliver gas from western Siberia to western China. (nearly 1 million views on Current Time)
As some East Germans protested against the communist regime, and others fled to the West, Raik Adam and his brother Andreas launched an audacious campaign of petrol bomb attacks on the Berlin Wall.
As military tensions simmer in the Arctic, locals work to improve cross-border relations.
Ukrainian police have launched a criminal probe against Andriy Portnov, the ex-deputy chairman of the presidential administration of former President Viktor Yanukovych, who is accused of obstructing the professional activities of RFE/RL journalists. Portnov has released the personal data of several members of RFE/RL’s Ukrainian investigative journalism unit Skhemy (Schemes), and threatened journalists with physical harm.
Speaking at a nuclear nonproliferation conference in Moscow on November 8, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov lashed out at U.S. claims that Moscow deployed a missile in violation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty."We’ve been asking the Americans for several years to present concrete facts that might confirm the alleged violations, but they have emphatically refused to do so," Lavrov said.
Russian state-owned Sberbank has announced the acquisition of a supercomputer called Christofari, which, with declared computing power of 6.7 petaflops, places it among the top 30 supercomputers of the world. According to Russian media, the computer was developed by the American company NVIDEA. (Russian Service)
The Grand Service Express carrier, a privately-owned railway company, has announced that the first passenger trains from mainland Russia to the Russian-occupied Crimean Peninsula across the newly constructed bridge over the Kerch Strait will start rolling next month. Tickets from St. Petersburg start at $55.
The Kremlin says it will not investigate statements by Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov that advocate killing, imprisoning, and intimidating persons who assault the "honor” of other users on the Internet. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists that law enforcement should look into Kadyrov's remarks, not the Kremlin.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has proposed finding a replacement for the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, which is alleged to include entries that reflect unfavorably upon Russia. Wikipedia administrator Victoria Doronina told Current Time that the platform has “tense relations with the Russian government,” which views it as a “hostile organization” paid for by the U.S. State Department. (in Russian, Current Time TV)
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has said he first learned of reported U.S. interest in buying Motor Sich, a top maker of engines for military cargo aircraft, by reading the news. His comments followed a report in The Wall Street Journal that Erik Prince, a private defense contractor and an informal adviser to U.S. President Donald Trump, had been in talks to acquire the company.
Ukrainian media reports that the National Anticorruption Agency has opened a case against Kyiv mayor and former world boxing champion Vitaliy Klitschko on suspicion of treason and embezzlement in connection with a construction development in Kyiv. Klitschko is also facing possible embezzlement charges relating to the reconstruction of Kyiv’s Shulyavsky bridge. (in Russian, Current Time TV)
The U.S. Embassy in Yerevan says President Donald Trump’s administration has increased assistance funding to Armenia to more than $60 million in 2019, a 40% increase over last year’s level, to “bolster Armenian democratic development.”
Russia will deliver a sophisticated short-range air-defense missile system to Serbia despite U.S. warnings of possible sanctions if the transaction goes through. The TASS news agency reported on November 6 that the Pantsir-S system will be delivered to Serbia “in the next few months.”
Kosovo's leftist-nationalist Self-Determination party has won 26.1% of the vote in last month's general elections, capturing 32 seats in the 120-seat legislature, according to final results. The center-right Democratic League of Kosovo won 24.4% of the vote and 29 seats.
Bulgarian President Rumen Radev has rejected the Supreme Judicial Council's choice for a new chief prosecutor, stressing that the selection process was not competitive and was conducted in a manner that doesn't foster public trust. The nomination of current Deputy Prosecutor-General Ivan Geshev for the post drew months of protests prior to the council's October 24 vote.
Ahead of parliamentary and presidential elections next year, critics say the government of Tajik President Emomali Rahmon -- widely expected to either extend his limitless tenure or orchestrate a leadership transition to 31-year-old son Rustam -- has launched a clampdown against any remaining media outlets outside its control.
A 24-year-old doctor from Turkmenistan who admitted he was gay and went missing on October 24 after obeying a police summons has reappeared at his home and has recanted his comments.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has honored the events three decades ago that brought down the Berlin Wall, calling it a "scar on the face of Europe."