An investigation by RFE/RL and Swedish network TV4 has uncovered a shadowy scam used to provide illegal immigrants with official tax-authority numbers enabling them to gain employment. At least one of them even worked at the Swedish border police, in what a fraud expert called "state-assisted slavery."
The group “We Are Moscow Youth” says the plastic cups in its ammo boxes reflect its commitment to peaceful protest. Activists organized an installation on Moscow’s Stary Arbat Street in support of Andrei Barshai, who was arrested at a protest rally on July 27 and is charged with causing harm to a policeman. Barshai’s supporters cite video evidence to claim he did not endanger anyone. (Russian Service)
More than half of Russians aged 18-24 say they would like to leave the country for good.
The law gives Russian authorities the power to designate individual reporters who work for organizations officially listed as "foreign agents" as foreign agents themselves. It also enables authorities to block the websites of foreign media outlets that publish content deemed to violate Russian regulations.
The Russian Duma has approved in its second reading a bill delineating fines for infractions committed by media “foreign agents,” including individual reporters labeled as such. Acts subject to penalty include failure to include the label “foreign agent” on a publication’s website, its social networks, or on individual materials or publications; and tardy or incorrect submission of financial and other reports. Fines for these infractions begin at $155 for individuals, $779 for officials, and $7,793 for legal entities. They range as high as $1,558 for individuals, $3,117 for officials, and $80,000 for legal entities, and may include arrest. (Current Time, in Russian)
Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed legislation requiring the installation of domestic software on digital devices sold inside Russia. The list of devices has not yet been published, but is certain to include smartphones, computers, and Smart TVs. The same law authorizes law enforcement to shoot down drones. Agents with Russia’s Federal Security Service, Federal Protective Service, Foreign Intelligence Service, police, National Guard, and the Federal Penitentiary Service will be allowed to destroy drones deemed to pose a threat to life, health, and the property of citizens. (Russian Service)
NATO leaders are gathering in London for a two-day summit to mark the founding of the 29-member military alliance 70 years ago, amid strains over defense spending, Syria, and a bitter dispute between France and Turkey.
The Dutch Public Prosecution Service has accused Russia of allowing a suspect, Ukrainian national Volodymyr Tsemakh, to evade its investigation into the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 by not arresting him and letting him return to separatist-held territory in eastern Ukraine.
At an event with international media on December 2, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said, "I definitely did not speak with President Trump in such a way, like, 'you give me this, I give you that.'"
During a meeting with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev on the first day of a visit to Baku, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Russia was interested in the fulfillment of confidence-building measures as part of a settlement over Azerbaijan's breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh, which is populated mostly by ethnic Armenians.
Ljubo Beslic, the controversial, long-serving mayor of the ethnically divided Bosnian city of Mostar, has been transported to Croatia for urgent medical treatment. Beslic has served in his post without a mandate since his term expired in 2013.
Kasymberdy Garayev has twice "disappeared" -- or was apparently incommunicado for long periods of time -- and then resurfaced to recant claims he made in an interview with RFE/RL that he was a homosexual. The behavior is sparking fears he might be under pressure by Turkmen authorities or his own family.
An investigation by Swedish TV4 and RFE/RL has documented how thousands of migrants from Central Asia have joined Sweden's labor force without a work permit in recent years through a backdoor that keeps them under the radar -- obtaining a legal Swedish tax number by pretending to buy a used car.
Twenty-five images from an archive of mostly amateur photographs capture daily life through Romania’s turbulent journey from World War II to the collapse of communism in 1989.