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Shushkevich Recalls Pen Strokes That Dissolved U.S.S.R

Twenty five years after signing an accord which effectively dissolved the Soviet Union, the first leader of independent Belarus, Stanislau Shushkevich, told RFE/RL action had to be taken to avoid a "Yugoslav scenario."

THE POWER VERTICAL: Why Invade When You Can Hack?

The Kremlin’s envoy to Sweden announced on public television last night that Russia “has no plans to invade” the country.

Protesters Denounce Georgia's Drug Laws

Protesters in Georgia denounced tough jail sentences for illegal drug possession and called for medical treatment to help people suffering from addiction.

Tajik Migrants Say There’s Work, But No Money

Tajik migrants who have worked in Russia are arriving home for the winter with “empty pockets,” casualties of Western sanctions and the country’s economic distress. (in Russian, Current Time TV)

Probing The Heavens

The world's largest radio telescope reaches for the stars, but astronomers hope the Russian government will reach deeper into its wallet to keep it up and running.


U.S. Congress Passes Massive Defense Bill, Including Global Magnitsky Rights Measure

The U.S. Congress has backed legislation giving the president new, broader authority to impose sanctions on human rights abusers worldwide.

EU Removes Obstacle To Visa-Free Travel For Georgia, Ukraine

European Union member states and the European Parliament have struck a deal to end a dispute that had been holding up a decision to allow Ukrainians and Georgians to visit the bloc without needing a visa.

Russia Says Syrian Army Has Suspended Operations In Eastern Aleppo

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on December 8 that the Syrian army has suspended combat operations in rebel-held eastern Aleppo.

Kadyrov Says Chechen Troops Ready To Fight In Syria

The head of Russia's Chechnya region, Ramzan Kadyrov, asserts that troops based there would be happy to fight what he called "scum" in Syria if President Vladimir Putin wishes.

WADA Report On Doping Finds Longstanding ‘Institutional Conspiracy’

A new report by the World Anti-Doping Agency on alleged drug use in Russian sports has found evidence that more than 1,000 Russian athletes were involved in manipulations of their drug tests.

Renowned Russian Film Director Condemns Yeltsin Center

Prominent film director Nikita Mikhalkov, who is president of the Russian Cultural Foundation, speaking before a parliamentary panel in Moscow on December 9, called for revamping Yekaterinburg’s Yeltsin Center, which he has previously described as “a den of liberals under the auspices of the U.S.” (in Russian, Current Time TV)

Ukraine’s New Anti-Corruption Body Registers Cases, But No Convictions

In conjunction with International Anti-Corruption Day on December 9, Ukraine’s new National Anti-Corruption Bureau reported filing 44 criminal cases in court over the last year, but experts say that no convictions can be expected without the creation of an independent anti-corruption court. (in Ukrainian)

Azerbaijani Activist Sentenced To 10 Years On Drug Charges

An activist who painted "Happy Slaves' Day!" on a monument to late former President Heydar Aliyev on May 9 has been convicted of drug trafficking and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Baku Limits Hard-Currency Transfers Abroad

Azerbaijan has tightened restrictions on the transfer of foreign currency abroad as of December 8.

Armenia's Former Flagship Enterprise Declared Bankrupt

In an unexpected ruling, an Armenian court has declared the state-owned Nairit synthetic rubber plant bankrupt.

U.S. Official Says Treatment Of RFE/RL Turkmen Journalists 'Unacceptable'

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Nisha Desai Biswal has decried the treatment of RFE/RL journalists in Turkmenistan, where one contributor faces a potential prison sentence for possessing chewing tobacco.

Uzbekistan Exonerates Soviet Leader Convicted In High-Profile Corruption Case

Uzbekistan has exonerated its Soviet-era leader Inomjon Usmonhojaev, who was convicted during a high-profile anticorruption campaign in 1989.

ANALYSIS: What's In Kyrgyzstan's Constitutional Referendum?

In the seventh such referendum in 25 years, the people of Kyrgyzstan will go to the polls on December 11 to vote on amendments to the country's constitution.

COMMENTARY: Russia’s New Internet Doctrine Declares ‘Media War’ On West

Russian commentators compared the Kremlin’s new doctrine on information security to Nazi propaganda in Germany. Lawyer Vadim Prokhorov said the restrictions it imposes on information access contradict Article 29 of the Russian Constitution and Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. (in Russian)

MOST READ/RUSSIA: Russia Economy Posts Zero Growth

Economist Igor Nikolayev told RFE/RL that Russia’s budget deficit is growing, reaching almost 4 percent this year, and half its reserve fund has been spent. Such funds can sustain the country through 2018, but structural reforms must begin to generate growth. (over 40k views on Russian Service website)

PHOTOGALLERY: The Fall: Twenty-Five Years After the Collapse of the U.S.S.R.

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