Slap! Belarus Statue A Magnet For Pranksters
Police in Belarus made a teenager apologize on video for slapping a statue of a policeman. When people responded by kissing it, how did police react?
Georgian Activist, Kyrgyz Pop Star Take On Harassment
A Georgian human rights activist compares notes on feminism with a Kyrgyz pop singer who made a splash in Kyrgyzstan with her provocative video. Both have received violent threats over their actions.
Red Carpet, Roses - And Another Decade? - For Tajik President
Onlookers threw rose petals as President of Tajikistan Emomali Rakhmon and his son walked down “tens of meters” of red carpet in a ceremony marking the launch of the Rogun Dam. Rakhmon announced his plans to oversee the construction through to completion in 2028, suggesting he may seek to stay in office until then. (Tajik Service)
Putin Mulls Russia Retaliation If U.S. Quits INF Treaty
Russian President Vladimir Putin met with his top military officials on November 19 to discuss a response to U.S. threats to pull out of a key nuclear arms treaty, saying a withdrawal "wouldn't be left without an answer from our side."
Putin, Erdogan Mark Key Phase In TurkStream Pipeline
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan have marked the completion of the offshore phase of a gas pipeline underneath the Black Sea that would serve European markets, the latest sign of growing cooperation between Moscow and Ankara.
Pressure Builds On Interpol Ahead Of Vote To Choose New Chief
Pressure is building on Interpol ahead of a vote to choose a new chief for the international police agency, with U.S. senators and others warning against the possibility that Major General Aleksandr Prokopchuk, a top Russian Interior Ministry official, might become the agency's new head. Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov says his country will consider suspending its membership in the agency if a Russian official is elected. Kosovo’s application to become a member was rejected for the third time since 2015 at Interpol’s four-day general assembly in the the United Arab Emirates city of Dubai.
FSB Detains Ukrainian Fishing Boat In Azov Sea
Russian border guards on November 19 detained a Ukrainian fishing boat in the Azov Sea for allegedly violating fishing rules, fined the captain $75, and confiscated on court order the boat’s quarter-ton catch and equipment. The U.S. and OSCE have called on Russia to stop obstructing international shipping in the Sea of Azov. (Russian Service)
Serb Nationalist To Take Helm Of Bosnia's Presidency
Serb nationalist Milorad Dodik will take the helm of Bosnia-Herzegovina's three-part presidency, as the badly riven Balkan nation inaugurates a new leadership. Three presidents rotate seats every eight months under the Dayton peace agreement that ended the country's devastating war in the 1990s.
Macedonia Summons Hungarian Envoy Over Ex-Prime Minister's Escape
The Macedonian Foreign Ministry has summoned Hungary's ambassador to Skopje to formally demand that the government in Budapest reject an asylum application by fugitive former Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski.
Hungary Sets Condition For Ukraine's Participation In NATO Meeting
Hungary’s foreign ministry said on November 19 that Budapest will continue to block meetings of the NATO-Ukraine Commission at a ministerial level, amid a diplomatic spat between the two neighbors.
Azerbaijan Detains And Fines Scores Of Independence Day Activists
A Baku court has issued a $1,500 fine to Azerbaijan Popular Front party leader Ali Karimli, who was also detained for two days for participating in an unsanctioned rally dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the day marking the country’s independence from the Soviet Union on November 17. Eight other activists were detained and fined, and three were sentenced to 20 days in prison. Police reportedly detained 52 persons in all. (in Russian, Current Time TV)
Forced State-News Subscriptions Renewed In Turkmenistan
Mandatory subscriptions to state-run media are being renewed for Turkmen civil servants and university students, fees for which are withheld semi-annually from their salaries and scholarships. Independent media is banned in Turkmenistan. (in Russian, Turkmen Service)
Discord Deepens As Kyrgyz Ex-President Atambaev Slams Successor Over Arrests
In a sign of a growing rift between Kyrgyz President Sooronbai Jeenbekov and his predecessor, former President Almazbek Atambaev has publicly called the arrests of his associates "a show" orchestrated by the Central Asian nation's current leadership.
Netherlands Proposes New EU Human Rights Sanctions Regime
Government officials from all 28 EU member states will meet in The Hague on November 20 to discuss a proposal by the Netherlands to craft a new sanctions regime that would target individuals accused of human rights abuses worldwide.
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