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VISUAL REPORTS

U.S. Envoy Volker Says UN Peacekeeping Mission Needed In Ukraine

U.S. Special Envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker said a UN peacekeeping mission is necessary to protect monitors of the conflict between government forces and pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.

No Word Yet On Saakashvili Hearing As Protests Continue

Lawyers and supporters of Mikheil Saakashvili say his team has had no word on when a hearing will be held for the jailed Ukrainian opposition leader, less than 24 hours before an apparent deadline for the court to decide on pretrial restrictions.

Belarus Foreign Minister Wants 'Irreversible' Improvement In Ties With EU

Belarus Foreign Minister Uladzimer Makey said improvements in ties with the European Union since the EU removed most sanctions in 2016 must be made "irreversible."

Kyrgyz Muslim Leader Endorses Polygamy, Prompting Heated Debate

A high-profile Kyrgyz religious leader recently announced that he had married a second wife, bringing the contentious issue of polygamy into the spotlight.

OTHER NEWS

7.40am -- Good Morning!

[Excerpt from Current Time TV’s daily, first-read for Russian-speaking audiences.]

Moscow was host to a high-profile cultural event this weekend, as Saturday marked the premier of the Bolshoi Theater’s premier of “Nureyev,” a ballet about the Russian dance legend, while its acclaimed director Kirill Serebrennikov remained under house arrest on charges of fraud.

In Syria, Putin Orders Russian Withdrawal To Begin

Russian media reports that Russian President Vladimir Putin has made a surprise visit to Syria and ordered the Russian military to start withdrawing its forces from the country.

Uzbek National Set To Go On Trial For Istanbul Nightclub Massacre

Istanbul nightclub massacre suspect Abdulkadir Masharipov is set to go on trial for the gun-and-grenade attack that killed 39 people early on January 1, 2017, which was claimed by the extremist group Islamic State.

Russia Hits Back At U.S. Charges Of INF Treaty Violations

Refuting charges by the United States that Moscow is violating terms of an important Cold War arms treaty, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov on December 9 issued a statement saying, "The accusations are absolutely unfounded."

Russian General Named In Bellingcat MH17 Report Plans To Sue

A senior Russian general who was accused in a recent investigation of being a coordinator of separatist forces in eastern Ukraine and of possible involvement in the downing of a civilian airliner in July 2014 has said he plans to sue the authors of the report for defamation.

Putin Awards Alekseyeva For Human Rights

Russian President Vladimir Putin has bestowed a state award on Lyudmila Alekseyeva, a veteran human rights activist and vocal critic of the president.

Russian Nationalists Disrupt Screening Of Film About Ukraine Conflict

Members of a Russian nationalist group have disrupted the screening at Moscow’s ArtDocFest documentary festival of a film about the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine.

As Doping Disgrace Mounts, Russian Film Revisits Olympic Hoops Glory

With Russia sidelined from the Winter Olympics, Russian moviegoers are set to revisit one of their country's greatest Olympic triumphs: the Soviet Union’s controversial gold-medal victory over the seemingly unbeatable U.S. men’s basketball team in 1972.

Ukrainian Businessman Accused Of Sponsoring Saakashvili Denies Contacts

Ukrainian Prosecutor-General Yuriy Lutsenko has accused Serhiy Kurchenko of financing former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili's activities in Ukraine. Kurchenko, a Ukrainian businessman who is currently hiding in Russia, has denied knowing Saakashvili, and says he will sue Lutsenko for defamation (Ukrainian Service)

Will Ukraine’s Military Replace The Soviet Kalashnikov?

The Ukrainian munitions manufacturer Ukroboronprom and the American company Aeroscraft have developed a weapon that could replace the Kalashnikov . The M-4 WAC-47 is essentially an M-4 rifle, but has been adapted to rapidly adjust to the different calibers used in Ukraine and in NATO countries. (Ukrainian Service)

Estonian Businessman Sentenced In Russia On Espionage Charges

In a closed session, a Moscow court has sentenced Estonian businessman Raivo Susi to 12 years in prison on espionage charges that his lawyer says date from 2004-2007. Susi owns a number Estonian companies that are engaged in assembling, repairing, servicing and selling jets. (in Russian, Current Time TV)

MOST READ/RUSSIA: Khodorkovsky On Taking A Bribe, Or Not

A Russian court is expected to announce a verdict in the corruption case of former Minister of Economic Development Alexei Ulyukayev. Speaking to Current Time TV, former Yukos CEO and prisoner Mikhail Khodorkovsky said, “if you do not take bribes, then you are potentially disloyal and most likely thrown out” of the system. But if you take bribes, he said, this can be used against you, too. (over 42k views on Russian Service website)

MAJLIS PODCAST: Unpacking Lavrov's Claim About A Caspian Settlement

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