Recent provocative statements by Russian President Vladimir Putin are mindgames meant to test public attitudes ahead of next year’s presidential elections.
Orthodox residents in the Vladimir region’s Bogolyubova village protested plans to build a factory that would produce diapers, condoms and bandaids, calling condoms “male abortions” and rejecting the prospect of new jobs at such a cost. (in Russian, Current Time TV)
A man received a 5 1/2-year sentence for calling for northern Kazakhstan to become part of neighboring Russia.
The Bishkek mayor's office has asked residents of the Kyrgyz capital to help locate two men it says roasted potatoes on the eternal flame at the city's memorial to World War II dead.
A new Russian information-security doctrine calls for the government to develop "a national system of managing the Russian segment of the Internet."
Russia and China on December 5 vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution sought by Western powers and calling for a seven-day truce in the Syrian city of Aleppo.
The independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta says it has uncovered substantial falsifications at 68 polling places in the Moscow suburb of Mytishchi during local and national legislative elections in September.
Hackers have corrupted the website of Ukraine’s State Treasury, redirecting visitors to the site’s homepage to another site where a message reads, “our real work is just beginning.” The treasury operates through the ministry of finance, whose website has also been blocked. (in Ukrainian)
The Kyiv economic court has ordered Russian energy giant Gazprom to pay approximately $ 6.5 billion to the country’s treasury in a ruling on a lawsuit filed by Ukraine’s anti-monopoly committee. (in Russian, Current Time TV)
Ukraine is ready to join European Union talks on gas issues with Russia on December 9, the state energy company Naftogaz said on its Twitter account on December 5.
Oleksandr Onyshchenko, a fugitive lawmaker wanted by the Ukrainian government, says he provided evidence to U.S. and Russian intelligence services linking Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to a corruption scheme involving the state gas company UkrGasVydobuvannya, and implicating deputy Ihor Kononenko as the conduit for the cash. (in Russian, Current Time TV)
UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Belarus Miklós Haraszti declared on December 5 that the country’s three recent executions testify to authorities’ “blatant disdain ...for the right to life and ...their staunch non-cooperation with the international human rights system.”
Reporters Without Borders called on Azerbaijan on December 5 to stop curtailing media freedom following the arrest and harassment of three journalists last week.
Authorities in Tajikistan have restored media accreditation to RFE/RL's correspondents 10 days after revoking their credentials over a report about the president’s daughter.
Prosecutors have begun their closing arguments at the genocide trial of former Bosnian Serb military commander Ratko Mladic in The Hague.
Kamoliddin Rabbimov, an Uzbek political scientist based in France, told RFE/RL that President-elect Shavkat Mirziyaev will expand Uzbekistan’s participation in multilateral processes, but that no drastic changes in policy should be expected. (in Russian)
Central Asia’s “hermit kingdom” is in a severe economic crisis, despite what the government says or what state media reports.