Russian and NATO spy planes regularly fly over each other’s territories, photographing military equipment and monitoring where forces are located. It’s all done with representatives from the observed country on board under the Treaty On Open Skies, an agreement born out of the end of the Cold War.
As mayor of Moscow for 18 years (1992-2010), Yury Luzhkov oversaw the Russian capital's transformation from a drab Soviet city into an often garish modern capital. For years one of the country's most influential political players, he suffered a sudden fall from grace in 2010.
Bosnian authorities have begun moving migrants from a makeshift tent camp near the country's northwestern border with EU member Croatia, following harsh international criticism of the improper conditions hundreds of people were being kept in.
The evolutionary hits just keep coming as climate change and other factors unearth amazingly well-preserved specimens of prehistoric beasts in Russia's remote, icy regions.
As expected, there were no breakthroughs, and the sides stuck to their positions on crucial issues such as the timing of elections in the areas of eastern Ukraine held by Russia-backed separatists, the future status of those areas, and the question of when Kyiv will regain complete control over its border with Russia.
U.S. President Donald Trump has warned Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov against any "attempts to interfere" in U.S. elections and "urged Moscow to resolve the conflict with Ukraine," the White House said of their meeting in Washington.
Russia’s Constitutional Court has backed a claim by three Russian women for the restitution of homes seized from their families during Stalin-era purges, in a landmark ruling highlighting the lingering effects of Soviet-era crimes.
The upper chamber of the Russian parliament, the Federation Council, has approved legislation establishing fines for media outlets and individuals declared to be “foreign agents.” Fines begin at $155 for individuals, $779 for officials, and $7,793 for legal entities, and range as high as $1,558, $3,117, and $80,000, respectively. Violators may also be subject to arrest. (Russian Service)
A military court in St. Petersburg has sentenced a man to life in prison for financing a deadly 2017 subway blast, while 10 other defendants in the case received prison terms of between 19 and 28 years.
Police in Russia's Siberian region of Yakutia detained Shaman Aleksandr Gabyshev on a highway on December 10 during his march to Moscow "to drive [President Vladimir] Putin out of the Kremlin." Local police reportedly tried earlier in the day to serve Gabyshev with a subpoena at his sister’s house. Gabyshev was fined approximately $15.7 for disobeying a police order.
The U.S. State Department has imposed sanctions against Aslan Iraskhanov, head of the Grozny Department of the Ministry of Interior, for the “extrajudicial killing of 27 people” in an incident involving persons in police custody in 2017. All employees of Chechnya’s Interior Ministry have reportedly asked that their names also be included in the list. (in Russian, Current Time TV)
Both hype and consternation preceded the December 9 Paris meeting of Volodymyr Zelenskiy and Vladimir Putin on the conflict in eastern Ukraine. But while the modest agreements reached seemed to leave little room for concerns of "capitulation" to Moscow, they have caused some disappointment about the obstacles that still loom large in a country torn by a five -year war.
Ukrainian filmmaker and former Kremlin political prisoner Oleh Sentsov has registered for military service. In a December 10 Facebook post, Sentsov, 43, wrote, “Since I’m a resident of Kyiv, I went and registered for military service. Now, I’m an army reservist.”
Ukrainian investigators have opened a criminal case to determine whether former President Petro Poroshenko committed treason when the so-called Minsk agreement in 2015, a 13-point road map for resolving the military conflict in eastern Ukraine, was signed.
Belarus, Russia, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, and Serbia voted on December 9 against a UN resolution on Crimea that, among other things, calls on Russia to withdraw its troops from territory it forcibly annexed and suspend the occupation of Ukrainian territory. Among the 19 nations that voted against the resolution, abstained, or did not vote were also China, Cuba, North Korea, Iran, Syria, Venezuela, and Nicaragua. (Belarus Service)
To mark International Human Rights Day on December 10, Kosovar President Hashim Thaci visited the site of a mass killing in 1999 of ethnic Albanians by Serbian forces and called on Belgrade to apologize for what he says were “crimes against humanity.”
Uzbekistan’s prosecutor-general’s office has denied entry and work authorization to Gregoire Mange, Gulnara Karimova’s Swiss lawyer. A statement from the office says that when previously in Uzbekistan, Mange committed ethics violations, disseminated false information, and contributed to a “destructive environment. (in Russian, Current Time TV)