A video posted by Ukraine’s interior minister shows a Russian attack on a Ukrainian tugboat and two warships near the Crimean coast that has raised concerns that tension between Moscow and Kyiv could escalate further.
Russia’s National Guard has purchased two vehicles equipped with an “integrated non-lethal impact” system designed to disperse rallies. The system creates a noise of 135 decibels, which can cause shell-shock, and includes a laser that can induce temporary blindness. (Current Time TV)
Ethnic Kazakhs from China's northwestern Xinjiang province say relatives with permanent residence permits issued by Kazakhstan have been barred from leaving China after traveling there at the request of Beijing.
Confrontation has been brewing in and around the Sea of Azov and Kerch Strait for months. But the November 25 incident, at a moment when both Russia’s and Ukraine’s leaders face political battles at home, marked the most significant escalation of tensions in the region this year, and the first time since Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014 that Moscow has publicly acknowledged opening fire on Ukrainian forces.
Western nations have rallied behind Ukraine after Russia fired on Ukrainian ships and seized 23 crew members in the Black Sea off the coast of the Russian-controlled Crimean Peninsula.
The head of Ukraine’s Security Service Vasyl Hrytsak has confirmed that military counter-intelligence officers were among those on board the three ships detained by Russia near the Kerch strait on November 25. Hrytsak said the officers acted in support of the country’s naval units in accordance with Ukrainian law. (in Russian, Current Time TV)
Former Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk recited a joint statement addressed to parliament and signed by him and former leaders Leonid Kuchma and Viktor Yushchenko on November 26 denouncing the imposition of martial law ahead of Ukraine’s presidential elections. Stating that previous incidents over the last five years presented a stronger case for martial law, he said the measure had a “political character” and could threaten democracy. (in Russian, Current Time TV)
The head of Russia’s Accounts Chamber and former Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin told a Moscow forum on November 27 that Russia’s growth rate over the last decade has averaged 1%, a dismal record not seen since the end of the World War II. Kudrin noted that even rising oil prices have not stalled the country’s economic decline. (Russian Service)
Russian media is reporting that the prosecutor-general’s office has initiated 16 criminal investigations of the state-owned Roscosmos aeronautics corporation involving faulty production that has led to the disruption of defense contracts from 2017 though mid-2018. (Russian Service)
Russia's communications watchdog is accusing Google of failing to comply with a law requiring it to delete search results for organizations that are banned in Russia. The move could be an indication that Russia is planning to raise the stakes for global technology firms for noncompliance with Russian laws.
Amnesty International has criticized the refusal of a court in Chechnya to grant a bail request to Oyub Titiyev, the head of the Russian human rights group Memorial's office there. The judge reportedly stated that the defense did not present enough evidence to mitigate the previous grounds for his arrest.
Montenegro has summoned the Serbian ambassador to Podgorica after a suspect on trial over a failed 2016 coup attempt walked out of the courtroom and fled to Serbia's embassy to avoid detention.
Fugitive former banker Mukhtar Ablyazov, who is a vocal critic of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev and his government, has been convicted in absentia of organizing the 2004 murder of Erzhan Tatishev, the head of TuranAlem bank (later renamed BTA), and sentenced to life in prison.
Kyrgyz lawmakers have given preliminary approval to a bill that would eliminate immunity for ex-presidents, potentially opening the path for the prosecution of former leader Almazbek Atambaev.
EU High Representative for Foreign Policy Federica Mogherini has announced in Brussels that the European Union will open a representative office in Turkmenistan by 2019, reflecting the bloc’s strategic interest in building a relationship with the country. (in Russian, Turkmen Service)