The Russian Defense Ministry has announced a new early-warning radar may be built in Crimea in 2019.
Ethnic Serbian lawmakers remained holed up inside Kosovo's parliament building December 3 after staging a sit-in overnight to protest the Kosovar government's decision to impose a 100 percent tax on goods from neighboring Serbia.
On December 7, 1988, an earthquake shattered the north of Soviet Armenia, taking the lives of more than 25,000 people and destroying tens of thousands of homes.
Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Volodymyr Omelyan says Russia has “partially” unblocked Ukraine’s sea ports on the Sea of Azov, allowing Ukrainian ships to pass through the Kerch Strait for the first time since November 25.
The Black Sea naval confrontation between Russia and Ukraine and the fate of a major Cold War missile treaty will top the agenda for foreign ministers and diplomats from 29 NATO members meeting in Brussels on December 4. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has demanded that Russia release Ukrainian sailors and naval vessels it seized in the confrontation nine days ago near Crimea.
RFE/RL journalists have identified the Nikopol (P176) and Berdyansk (U175), two of the military boats that Russia captured near Crimea on November 25, near the quay in the “Genmola” area in Kerch, a territory that was controlled by the Ukrainian coast guard before 2014, but is currently controlled by Russian border guards. (Ukrainian Service, Crimea Realities website)
Russian State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin has announced that the chamber’s Committee on Security and Anti-Corruption has proposed that the state border guards who opened fire on Ukrainian ships and sailors on November 25 in the Kerch strait receive state honors. He praised the guards for acting “flawlessly” and “courageously” in protecting the border “consistent with international norms and rules.” (in Russian, Current Time TV)
In a rare public speech on December 3, the head of the British foreign intelligence service M16 said that Russia was in a state of "perpetual confrontation" with Britain and the West, and warned the Kremlin "not to underestimate" the West following the March 2018 nerve-agent attack.
A Czech spy agency has said it is "obvious" that Russia was behind two recent cyberattacks against the Czech Foreign Ministry and Czech diplomats, and called the attacks part of the most serious wave of cyberespionage to target the country.
Moscow authorities plan to replace simple CCTV cameras with cameras connected to facial recognition software by the end of 2019. Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin has said that experiments with the system resulted in the detention of dozens of criminals, and that “the new system will make the city inaccessible to criminal elements.” (Russian Service)
A Russian nongovernmental organization focused on preventing the spread of the HIV virus that causes AIDS says it has closed its office in the Siberian region of Altai Krai because it has not been able to raise funds to pay a fine for refusing to register in Russia as a “foreign agent.”
Russia's culture minister has revealed historical records that he claims prove the authenticity of a World War II legend commonly referred to as "Panfilov's 28 men," which has been largely debunked by historians.
French actor Gerard Depardieu, who was granted Russian citizenship by President Vladimir Putin in 2013, has formally registered as a resident of the Siberian city of Novosibirsk after a tax-related investigation in the Mordovia region.
Ukrainian police have searched several Russian Orthodox churches and the homes of Russian Orthodox priests in several cities, amid growing tensions over the fate of Ukraine's competing Orthodox faiths.
Two Belarusian activists have been fined for mocking a statue of a tsarist-era policeman in Minsk, one month after a teenager was forced to issue a public apology after slapping it. A court in Minsk on December 3 found Syarhey Sparysh and Vyachaslau Kasinerau guilty of minor hooliganism and fined both $360.
NATO is expected to activate Bosnia's Membership Action Plan this week, a program of advice and assistance that would mark a milestone in the Balkan country's path to join the military alliance.
Macedonia’s parliament has approved the language of a draft constitutional amendment on the country’s name change, clearing another barrier toward resolving a long-standing dispute with Greece and putting the Balkan country on a path to join NATO.
A new Levada Center poll conducted in November has found that 47% of respondents support the party, while 44% do not. The party’s approval rating in Moscow is at a record low 55%, with 31% of respondents “totally disapproving” of its activities and 24% “rather disapproving.” (in Russian, Current Time TV)
Former RFE/RL President Thomas Kent writes in The Hill that the status of RFE/RL as a private establishment, rather than a government agency, greatly enhances its mission as a “surrogate local press.”