Why Russia Believes Individual Journalists Can Be ‘Foreign Agents’
A bill allowing the Russian government to identify individual reporters as “foreign agents” requires only President Vladimir Putin’s signature to become law. Andrei Palkin, a parliamentarian from the ruling United Russia Party, told Current Time that the move is needed to restrict the activities of an alleged “fifth column.”
NATO Shows Off Missile Base In Romania, Calling It 'Purely Defensive'
Ahead of NATO’s December 3-4 summit in London, the alliance has opened the facility at Romania’s Military Base 99 for a tour by a group of journalists and ambassadors from 20 NATO members states.
Activists Demand Removal Of Serbian Finance Minister After Plagiarism Ruling
Several hundred protesters have marched in the Serbian capital to call for the ouster of Finance Minister Sinisa Mali after a Belgrade University ethics committee ruled that he had plagiarized his doctoral thesis.
Georgian Police Use Water Cannon To Scatter Protesters
After issuing a 30-minute ultimatum before dawn, Georgian police used water cannons to disperse protesters near parliament and detained several activists, hours after thousands assembled in the capital demanding electoral reforms.
Landslide Destroys Road Near Historic Azeri Mosque
A major landslide has destroyed a highway at the southern entrance to the Azeri capital, Baku. A stretch of road 100 meters long was damaged by the slide early morning on November 25 following torrential rainfall, with one lane completely destroyed. The incident occurred just a short distance from the city's historic Bibi-Heybat mosque.
Kyrgyz Police Chief Says Nearly $1 Billion Funneled From Country
The chief of Kyrgyzstan's financial police says the amount of cash illegally funneled out of the country by suspects implicated in a joint investigation by RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service, the OCCRP, and the Kyrgyz news site Kloop, is close to $1 billion, well above the original estimate of $700 million.
Number Of Young Russians Wanting To Leave Country Hits Decade High
A survey by the independent Russian pollster Levada Center has found that more than half of Russians between the ages of 18 and 24 want to leave for other countries, while 21 percent of respondents from all age groups said they would like to emigrate.
St. Petersburg Activists Protest Transfer Of Uranium ‘Tails’ From Germany
Six hundred tons of depleted uranium hexafluoride, or uranium “tails” from the German Urenco Deutschland plant in Gronau, will arrive by ship in St. Petersburg on Tuesday for deposit at Russian landfills. Environmentalists believe the “tails” contain actual radioactive waste. Protesters asked why the export of cheese from Germany is prohibited, but radioactive waste is ok. (Northern “Sever” Realities, Russian Service)
Russia Faces Four-Year Ban From Sporting Competitions
A key panel of the World Anti-Doping Agency recommends Russia be hit with a four-year ban from sporting competitions over noncompliance with the World Anti-Doping Code.
Putin, Zelenskiy Speak On Phone Ahead Of December Meeting
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy have spoken on the phone, two weeks before a planned meeting in Paris. The November 25 call reportedly included discussion of the transit of natural gas to Europe and Moscow’s return of three Ukrainian ships, but made no mention of the planned December 9 meeting over the Donbas conflict.
Zelenskiy Chief Bohdan Implicated In Series Of Employment Breaches
RFE/RL’s investigative program “Schemes” reports that Ukrainian Presidential Administration head Andriy Bohdan has repeatedly violated a law banning citizens from simultaneous employment in the private sector and civil service. Bohdan worked as an anti-corruption commissioner under former Prime Minister Mykola Azarov while continuing to work as a lawyer; he was a deputy minister during the presidency of Viktor Yushchenko while at the same time heading a private law firm; and he worked as a lawyer while being an assistant to a judge during the presidency of Leonid Kuchma. (Ukrainian Service)
Ukraine's Sentsov To Receive EU's Top Human Rights Prize
Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, who was one of the most prominent political prisoners in Russia, will receive last year's Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought from the European Parliament on November 26.
Swastika Painted On Statue Of Prominent Jewish Writer In Kyiv
Vandals have painted large swastikas on a monument of the prominent Jewish author and playwright Sholem Aleichem in Kyiv just days ahead of a summit of regional Jewish leaders in Ukraine. Foreign Minister Vadym Prystayko denounced the act in a tweet as “disgusting, appalling, and in need of prompt investigation.”
Bulgaria, U.S. Express Cooperation On Energy, Black Sea Defense
Bulgaria has agreed to allow NATO to use its Black Sea port for naval coordination efforts as tensions rise between the Western military alliance and Russia.
Kazakh Journalist Libel Case Sent For Further Study
A court in Kazakhstan’s southern city of Turkistan has sent the case against journalist Amangeldy Batyrbekov, who was sentenced in September to 2 years and 10 months on libel charges, back for further information, stating that the findings of a linguistic commission on Batyrbekov's online posts "do not correspond to regulations."
Prosecutor Seeks Lengthy Prison Terms For Tajik Police Officers Charged With Torture
A Tajik prosecutor has asked for lengthy prison terms for four police officers charged with torturing a suspect being held in an illegal-drugs-related case.
POLL: Nearly Two Thirds Of Ukrainians Positively View Zelenskiy’s First Months
A new Ukrainian poll finds that 62% of Ukrainians positively assess the first months in office of President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and his team. At the same time, 24% of respondents disapprove of the new president, a rate that has almost doubled since August. (in Russian, Current Time TV)
PRESSROOM: Plunder And Patronage In Central Asia
RFE/RL’s investigation into a $700 smuggling ring in Kyrgyzstan has been cited by Reuters, New York Times, AFP, Kommersant, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, eurasia.expert, Zakon.kz, Eurasia Net, and other media outlets.