Ukraine, Russia Agree On Cease-Fire, 'All-For-All' Prisoner Exchange
Following more than eight hours of talks among the leaders of France, Germany, Ukraine, and Russia in Paris on December 9, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy have agreed to commit “to a full and comprehensive” cease-fire in eastern Ukraine by year’s end, and to aim for an "an all-for-all" prisoner exchange, reportedly on December 24.
Feminist Art Censored In Kyrgyzstan
It was supposed to be an art exhibit celebrating female freedom of expression in Kyrgyzstan. But authorities have censored controversial exhibits and the museum's female director has resigned after receiving death threats.
A Russian Photography Star Is Born -- 20 Years After Her Death
After RFE/RL broke the story of a secret hoard of photographs discovered in a St. Petersburg attic in 2017, the photographs of Masha Ivashintsova (1942-2000) have become an international sensation
Hacking 101: How To Steal An Election
Let’s say you're working for an authoritarian government, and you want to cause chaos in an unfriendly democratic country. One expert reveals just how easy it could be for hackers to influence the 2020 U.S. presidential election.
U.S. Congressional Committees Attach Nord Stream 2 Sanctions To NDAA
U.S. Senate and House committees have agreed to attach a bill sanctioning companies associated with Nord Stream 2 to the National Defense Authorization Act. The measure puts up a potential roadblock to the completion of Russia's new $11 billion natural-gas pipeline to Europe.
EU To Start Work On 'Magnitsky' Sanctions Regime
European Union foreign ministers have agreed to proceed with “the preparatory work for a global sanctions regime” to address serious human rights violators, the bloc’s new diplomatic chief Josep Borrell said on December 9, in a move seen as primarily targeting Russia.
Son-In-Law Of Veteran FSB Special Forces Officer Wanted By FBI
The U.S. Treasury Department has imposed sanctions on 17 persons, including 12 Russians, who are accused of stealing more than $100 million since 2011 from banks, companies and individuals. The hacking group accused of the crimes is called “Evil Corp,” and is led by a 32-year-old Moscow resident Maxim Yakubets, whom American and British authorities claim was working for the FSB. RFE/RL’s Russian Service has confirmed Yakubets’s FSB connection. He is married to the daughter of former FSB Vympel special forces officer Eduard Bendersky, who runs a network of private security companies and has been implicated in scandals related to the hunt of endangered animals. The FBI is offering a $5 million award for information that could lead to his arrest. (Russian Service)
Putin Says Berlin Murder Victim Was Organizer Of Moscow Subway Blast
Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that Zelimkhan Khangoshvili, the ethnic Chechen Georgian national killed in Berlin this summer, was "a hardened and murderous fighter" wanted in Russia who "killed 98 people in one of his acts" and was "one of the organizers” behind a Moscow metro blast.
Another Moscow Activist Jailed Over Unsanctioned July 27 Rally
A court in Moscow has sentenced another activist accused of assaulting police during an unsanctioned rally on July 27. Eduard Malyshevsky, who, after being forced into a police vehicle broke a side window, causing glass to fall on a riot police officer, was sentenced on December 9 to three years in prison for causing him "sharp pain.”
Russian Court Backs Release Of American Cartoonist Charged With Drug Smuggling
The Moscow City Court has upheld a lower court's decision to release U.S. citizen Gaylen Grandstaff from custody until the prosecutor-general's office clarifies its arguments in the drug-smuggling case against him. Grandstaff spent more than 600 days in jail after Russian customs agents stormed his Moscow apartment in July 2017, seizing a $10 bottle of metal cleaner and medicines to treat Crohn's disease.
Ukrainian Website ‘Myrotvorets’ Disappears From Internet
The Ukrainian database Myrotvorets is no longer publicly available on the Internet. The site attracted criticism from the EU in 2016 for publishing the names of journalists who were accredited by the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic, declaring they were “anti-Ukrainian” and subjecting them to public censure. The site maintained a database of an additional 192,000 people it accused of committing crimes against the Ukrainian state. (Ukrainian Service)
U.S. Slaps Sanctions On Associates Of Serbian Arms Dealer Tesic
The United States has imposed sanctions on nine associates of Serbian businessman Slobodan Tesic, described by the U.S. Treasury Department as being "among the biggest dealers of arms and munitions in the Balkans."
With Mostar's 'Eternal Mayor' Ailing, Will Change Finally Come To Bosnia?
Ljubo Beslic, the controversial 61-year-old chief administrator who has run the picturesque Herzegovinian city of Mostar since 2004, is the beneficiary of an extraordinary predicament that has stymied efforts to replace him.
Ex-Kyrgyz President Atambaev To Face Psychiatric Examination
A psychiatric examination has been ordered for arrested former Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambaev, the Interior Ministry says, to determine whether Atambaev and 15 co-defendants are fit to stand trial over a deadly two-day standoff between security forces and supporters of the ex-president in August.
Kazakh Activists Jailed Ahead Of Rallies Planned By Banned Opposition Group
Three Kazakh civil-rights activists have been jailed ahead of human rights rallies planned in the capital, Nur-Sultan, on December 16. The opposition Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan movement established by Mukhtar Ablyazov, a fugitive tycoon and opposition politician, has announced plans to organize rallies on that date, Kazakhstan's Independence Day.
MAJLIS PODCAST: The Backlash Against Art -- And Feminism -- In Kyrgyzstan
OBITUARY: Yury Luzhkov, Former Moscow Mayor, Dies
Yury Luzhkov, the pugnacious former mayor of Moscow who oversaw the transformation of the Russian capital over nearly two decades but whose national political ambitions went unrealized, has died, aged 83.
PRESSROOM: Human Rights Day Marked Amid Growing Threats To Journalists