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(RFE/RL Russian Service)

VISUAL REPORTS

Putin Orders Partial Troop Withdrawal From Syria

Declaring that Moscow and Damascus have achieved the goal of destroying the Islamic State extremist group, Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered the Russian military to start withdrawing a "significant portion" of its forces from Syria.

Russian Nationalists Disrupt Screening Of Film On Ukraine

Activists from a Russian nationalist group disrupted the Moscow screening of a film about the war in eastern Ukraine on December 10.

Saakashvili Leaves Kyiv Courtroom

Mikheil Saakashvili, the former Georgian president turned opposition leader in Ukraine, was released by a Kyiv court until further hearings. Saakashvili was supported in the courtroom by former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, and greeted by supporters outside. The Prosecutor-General says they will appeal the court's decision. (Ukrainian Service)

Food For Local Ukrainian Officials Vs. Food For The Blind

Authorities in Ukraine’s western Zhitomir oblast sought to fete the district’s blind residents: officials sat at a table replete with meat, caviar, and alcohol, while the blind were served pastry and cookies. (350k views on Current Time TV Facebook)

OTHER NEWS

7.40am -- Good Morning!

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

Russian President Vladimir Putin has suddenly arrived at the Russian base Khmeimim in Syria, announcing the defeat of “the most combat-ready group of international terrorists,” and adding that it is time to begin to withdraw Russian troops. Russia’s defense minister has already reported that troops are withdrawing. The catch is that this is the third time Putin has announced a withdrawal. How they are moving about in the desert is still unknown...According to official data, 40 Russians have died in Syria since September 2015, but media estimate that 130 Russians have died in the conflict in 2017 alone.

Russia's Media Monitor Blocks Websites Of 'Undesirable' Organizations

Russia's Roskomnadzor media regulatory agency has begun blocking access to websites of organizations deemed "undesirable" by the Justice Ministry under a 2015 law aimed at restricting the activity of groups the Kremlin accuses of fomenting dissent.

Russian, Egyptian Presidents Discuss Bilateral Ties

Russian President Vladimir Putin has met with his Egyptian counterpart in Cairo for talks on the two countries' expanding ties and regional issues.

Russian FSB Says Terror Plot Foiled

Russia's Federal Security Service says it has uncovered an extremist "cell" that was directed by the militant group Islamic State and was planning terror attacks in Moscow during the New Year's holidays and the upcoming presidential campaign.

Already Reeling From Loss of NHL, Olympic Hockey Anxiously Awaits Russia’s KHL

Did the International Olympic Committee inadvertently score an “own goal” when it banned Russia from the 2018 Winter Olympics? Ice hockey officials are worried.

Russian Athletes 'Prepared To Compete' In Olympics As Neutrals

A group of prominent Russian athletes and sports officials says that would-be Russian Olympians are ready to take part in the upcoming Winter Games as neutrals.

Stickers Mocking Solzhenitsyn Appear In Moscow Ahead Of Plaque Ceremony

Stickers insulting the late Russian writer Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn appeared on a Moscow street named after the Nobel Prize-winning author a day before the unveiling of a plaque honoring his memory.

Daghestan Investigates Killing Of Alleged ‘Extremist’ Young Men

Reports of seemingly arbitrary shootings by security personnel of unarmed, law-abiding young men who are subsequently branded Islamic militants on the basis of what critics claim is fabricated evidence have become commonplace in the North Caucasus over the past 10 to 15 years.

No HIV Test? No Wedding In Russia's Ingushetia

No HIV test? No wedding. That simple rule will apply in Russia's North Caucasus region of Ingushetia starting next year.

Ukrainians Make Good On EU Visa-Free Travel

Ukraine’s border service reports that in the first six months of visa-free travel to the European Union, 355,000 Ukrainians, or 0.7 percent of the country’s population, have traveled to an EU destination. (in Russian, Current Time TV)

EU To Advance Negotiations With Montenegro, Serbia

The European Union has opened new chapters in the accession negotiations with Montenegro and Serbia in a move that brings the two countries somewhat closer to joining the bloc.

Coal Miners In Kazakhstan Stay Below To Demand Higher Wages

Hundreds of coal miners in Kazakhstan's central region of Qaraghandy are refusing to come up to the surface, striking underground for wage increases.

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