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Caption: Chechnya, Crimea, Donbas People’s Republic, Luhansk People’s Republic, Syria……...Palmyra (RFE/RL Russian Service)
Caption: Chechnya, Crimea, Donbas People’s Republic, Luhansk People’s Republic, Syria……...Palmyra (RFE/RL Russian Service)


THE POWER VERTICAL: Corruption, The Kremlin’s Soft Power

The WADA report on doping shows how Russian President Vladimir Putin has managed to erode global confidence in institutions we once trusted.

Ukrainian Nationalist Group Holds Torchlight Rally In Kharkiv

Hundreds of activists of Ukraine's Azov Civil Corps rallied with torches in the northeastern city of Kharkiv on December 11, holding a banner saying “Peace -- After Victory” and chanting patriotic slogans, while calling for an end to drugs and alcoholism.

Macedonia Holds Early Elections

Eleven political parties and blocs competed in Macedonia's long-delayed parliamentary elections on December 11.

Pollution Protests In Pristina

Protesters in Kosovo's capital called on the government to battle air pollution after the U.S. Consulate showed air quality in Pristina reached unhealthy levels.

VOX POP: Could Modern Russia Follow The Fate Of USSR?

Most respondents to an informal street poll in Moscow said a stronger economy and the memory of the Soviet Union’s collapse will prevent the Russian Federation from falling apart, but some expressed concern that escalating national conflicts could create instability. (in Russian)


Oil Prices Soar After Non-OPEC Reduction Deal

The price of oil soared on world markets after Russia and other non-OPEC members agreed to reduce their production in a bid to slash the huge supplies of oil that had lowered prices.

Savchenko Draws Criticism After Allegedly Meeting With Separatists

Ukraine’s Fatherland party has issued a statement condemning “any negotiations with terrorists” following allegations that party member, lawmaker, and former political prisoner Nadia Savchenko secretly met with separatist leaders Oleksandr Zakharchenko and Ihor Plotnickiy on December 7 in Minsk. (in Ukrainian)

Pretrial Detention Of Crimean Tatar Activist Prolonged

A court in Russian-controlled Crimea has prolonged pretrial detention for jailed Crimean Tatar activist Ahtem Ciygoz for another three months.

EU Monitoring Mission In Georgia Extended

The European Council has prolonged the mandate of an EU monitoring mission established after the 2008 war between Georgia and Russia for another two years.

Poland Faces Wave Of Labor Migrants From Ukraine

Poland has issued over one million work permits to Ukrainians this year as its own citizens seek work elsewhere in Europe. The exodus has created a workforce problem in Ukraine, particularly in the border regions with Poland. (in Russian, Current Time TV)

Belarusian Who Fought In Eastern Ukraine On Trial On Hate Charges

A Belarusian man authorities say has openly espoused neo-Nazi ideas is on trial in Belarus along with five other defendants on charges including inciting ethnic hatred.

Strong Turnout Reported In Breakaway Transdniester Election

Election officials reported a strong turnout in Transdniester as voters chose a new leader for the self-governed but unrecognized Moldovan territory.

Kyrgyz Voters Back Amendments On Same-Sex Marriage, Presidential Power

Kyrgyz voters have overwhelmingly backed amending the constitution to ban same-sex marriage and shift some presidential powers to the prime minister.

SCHEMES: Following Poroshenko’s Example

Following the discovery of an unreported villa on Spain’s Costa del Sol belonging to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, RFE/RL’s investigative program “Schemes” has now identified one owned by Deputy Energy and Coal Minister Ihor Didenko, and an undeclared jet belonging to lawmaker Vitaliy Homutinnik. (in Ukrainian)


This December marks 100 years since the murder of Grigory Rasputin, the debauched mystic who bewitched Russia's doomed royal family.

MOST READ/RUSSIA: Khodorkovsky Posits Putin Exit After 2018

In an interview with RFE/RL, exiled oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky said that Russian President Vladimir Putin will be disappointed when he meets U.S. President-elect Donald Trump because the two have radically different values. He said a shift away from “Putinism” is already underway, since "Putin is not young anymore and is loosing the role of security guarantor for younger officials,” who are generating intra-elite conflicts inside the Kremlin. (over 75k views on Russian Service website)

POWER VERTICAL PODCAST: Five Years Of Living Dangerously

The Power Vertical marks five years on the air with a look back at Bolotnaya, Navalny, Pussy Riot, Sochi, the Euromaidan, Crimea, the Donbas, cyberattacks, hybrid war, Boris Nemtsov, and the Panama Papers, plus thoughts on what’s ahead.

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