For years, a network of informal couriers has funneled millions of dollars out of Kyrgyzstan in cold, hard cash. The underground money transfer system fuels corruption, destroys transparency — and has claimed people’s lives.
The mayor of a Prague district proposed building a monument to a controversial World War II military division made up of Soviet defectors. Russia objected. The affair is the latest in a series of Czech-Russian disputes over the two countries' approaches to history. (Current Time)
Migrants at a refugee camp in Bosnia-Herzegovina have begun a hunger strike as a top European human rights official warned that the temporary facility needs to be closed immediately or "people will start to die."
Uzbeks say the country is experiencing one of its worst energy crises, with cars lining up all night for LPG fuel and homes without gas or power.
Uzbekistan's president has warned citizens not to go into debt to pay for traditional weddings. One Uzbek man has spent 19 years working in Russia and saving for the marriages of his three children.
His country awash in poverty and prisons, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un presides over the opening of a shiny new resort city reportedly built with forced labor.
The U.S. Justice Department has stated in an indictment that Russian, Italian, and U.S. companies and several employees disguised the destination of a U.S.-made power turbine in an attempt to evade U.S. sanctions that were imposed after Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014.
A joint investigation by Current Time and the anti-corruption project Municipal Scanner has revealed that scores of European companies -- primarily offshore holding firms -- have operated and invested in Crimea despite EU sanctions that were imposed after Russia forcibly annexed the peninsula in 2014.
Russia has accused detained former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan of faking illness in custody and lying about his treatment to bring attention to his case. Whelan, who was accused of espionage almost one year ago, says the accusations against him are false and politically motivated.
The Russian Orthodox Church is opposing a bill on preventing domestic violence, contending that it “contradicts universally recognized legal principles of reasonableness, justice and equality,” and will lead to a “massive violation” of the rights of citizens and families. A church commission said the bill’s proposed preventive measures are “repressive,” adding that “any normal human action” can be characterized as domestic violence. (Russian Service)
Russian telecom operators have requested that companies responsible for installing special software in digital networks in connection with Russia’s Sovereign Internet law be banned from using subscriber data. The operators reportedly expressed concern in a closed meeting to Russia’s Federation Council that the data, which is not legally ensured, could be used for commercial purposes. (Russian Service)
German federal prosecutors are preparing to take over the case related to the slaying of an ethnic Chechen Georgian national in Berlin this summer, amid suspicions that Russian intelligence was involved in the killing.
Ukraine’s parliament on December 3 passed a law that revamps the State Bureau of Investigations on the same day that authorities detained a close associate of the corruption-fighting agency’s chief for allegedly demanding a $150,000 bribe from a construction company.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is hosting his Serbian counterpart Aleksandar Vucic in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, only weeks since intelligence services in Belgrade said they uncovered a large-scale intelligence operation between Russian spies and current and former members of Serbia’s military.
Former Moldovan Prime Minister Vlad Filat, serving a 9-year prison sentence for abuse of office and corruption, has been released on parole to the surprise of the country’s leadership.
Former Turkmen Interior Minister Isgender Mulikov, fired by President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov in October, has been convicted of abuse of power and corruption. Reading from a piece of paper on a national news broadcast on December 3, Mulikov, clad in black prison clothes and handcuffs, cited his “greed” and said, “I treacherously abused my position ... and took bribes in especially large sizes,” adding he was legally prosecuted and repentant.
RFE/RL’s investigative unit Schemes reports that German law enforcement, responding to a request from Ukraine’s National Anti-Corruption Bureau,detained former MP Oleksandr Onyshchenko in the German city of Aachen on November 29. Onyshchenko has been wanted since 2016 in connection with alleged theft of over $67 million, vote-buying, and the purchase of parliamentary seats. A German court is reviewing his case for extradition to Ukraine. (Ukrainian Service)
A global World Giving Index based on a decade of data has ranked Russia 117 out of 126 countries surveyed. The study, conducted by the Charities Aid Foundation, is based on Gallup polling data. It placed the U.S. at the top, along with Myanmar, New Zealand, Australia, and Ireland. (Russian Service)