The Daily Vertical: The Kremlin Braces For The Worst
In the past three years, Russia’s GDP per capita has fallen by more than $4,000, real incomes have sharply declined, and inflation has increased by 10 percent.
New Russian Tanks Are Headed To Ukraine Border
A video shot from the city of Rostov-on-Don shows Russian tanks being transported towards the Russian-Ukrainian border, a little over 100 kilometers away. (Current Time TV)
Police Search Investigative Journalists In Kazakhstan
Police in Almaty, Kazakhstan have searched the apartments and offices of journalists with the independent website nakanune.kz, who were involved in investigating corruption linked to one of the country’s biggest banks.
Murder Trial Of Russian Soldier Begins in Armenia
After six months of negotiations, an Armenian court has convened at the Russian base in Gyumri to hear the case of Russian soldier Valery Permyakov, who is charged with killing seven members of an Armenian family.
Russian Decree Authorizes Retaliatory Sanctions Against Ukraine
Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev told deputy ministers on December 21 that, effective January 1, 2016, the Kremlin would implement retaliatory economic measures against Ukraine in connection with its support of EU and US-backed sanctions against Russia. (Current Time TV)
Manat Plummets As Azerbaijan Adopts Floating Exchange Rate
Azerbaijan’s national currency fell by 48 percent against the U.S. dollar (from 1.04 to 1.55 manat to the dollar) following a December 21 announcement by the Azeri state bank to float the manat. Kazakhstan made a similar decision earlier this year. (Current Time TV)
Senior Azeri Anti-Terror Official Commits Suicide
Ilgar Aliyev, one of 20 officials taken into custody and accused of “abusing power” after Azerbaijan’s National Security Ministry was dissolved in October, committed suicide on December 21 in a Baku detention facility. (In Russian)
Russian Economic Perspectives For 2016 Called ‘Uncertain’
In an interview with RFE/RL, self-exiled Russian economist Konstantin Sonin attributed Russia’s economic difficulties to the significant drop in oil prices and poor control over the economy over the past 10 years. (In Russian)
‘Russia Cannot Give Up Russians And Russian Speakers To Ukrainian Nationalists’
In a movie billed as a documentary, scheduled to air on state-controlled Russia 1 channel today, Russian President Vladimir Putin declares that he will continue to defend his country’s interests against Ukrainian nationalists, and does not aim to restore the Soviet Union. (In Ukrainian)
Penza Opens First Stalin Center
At a ribbon-cutting ceremony, the first secretary of Penza’s regional Communist party committee declared the goal of the center to “promote and actualize” practices used during the Stalin era “that are relevant now.” (In Russian)
The Village That Time Forgot
The Russian village of Vegarus lies just 70 kilometers from affluent Finland, but time has stood still on this side of the border and many residents lack even basic amenities.
Georgia Surmounts Early Election Hurdle, But Concerns Persist
Ten months ahead of planned parliamentary elections, lawmakers have begun to amend the election law, even as tensions emerge among the country's most senior politicians and within the ruling Georgian Dream (GD) coalition, whose popularity hovers around 15 percent.
Tajik TALCO Mines For Gold
Tajik aluminum giant TALCO has acquired a 25-year lease on gold deposits in the north of the country, as aluminum manufacturing has become unprofitable. (In Russian)