Wednesday, August 31, 2016

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Secularists Deeply Uneasy About Russian Education Minister

Olga Vasilyeva's appointment as Russia's new education minister has angered many educators and liberal commentators, who say that her defense of Soviet policies and ties to the Orthodox faith make her a questionable choice to head one of the world's biggest networks of secular academic institutions.

Islam Karimov has been president since Uzbekistan became independent in 1991 and for most it is now difficult to imagine life without him at the helm. (file photo)

Audio Podcast: Uzbekistan -- Where Are We Now, And What's Next?

Despite a series of rumored illnesses in the past and his advanced age, the news that Uzbek President Islam Karimov was suddenly hospitalized after suffering what his daughter said was a brain hemorrhage was a shock to people in Uzbekistan and further afield. More

'An Unequivocal Message Of Intimidation'

Authorities in Chechnya are being accused of systematically erecting a "tyranny" and using "thugs" to intimidate potential rivals and the public ahead of an election in which Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov is seeking a new term. More

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Video Roundup

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Kyrgyzstan Marks Independence Day With Parade In Bishkeki
August 31, 2016
Kyrgyzstan celebrated 25 years as an independent country with a parade in Bishkek. President Almazbek Atambaev opened festivities including a large-scale military display, amid border tensions with neighboring Uzbekistan. (RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service)

Video Kyrgyzstan Marks Independence Day With Parade In Bishkek

Kyrgyzstan celebrated 25 years as an independent country with a parade in Bishkek. President Almazbek Atambaev opened festivities including a large-scale military display, amid border tensions with neighboring Uzbekistan. (RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service)

Video Pakistan and Afghanistan To Reopen Border Crossing After Flag-Burning Dispute

Officials from Afghanistan and Pakistan have agreed to reopen a major border crossing after a flag-burning dispute closed it. The Chamman crossing was closed after a group of Afghan youth celebrating the country's independence day on August 19 ransacked a border gate and burned a Pakistani flag.

Video Pakistan's Largest City Swears In Jailed Politician As Mayor

A jailed politician has been sworn in as the mayor of Pakistan's largest city, Karachi. Waseem Akhtar, who was arrested in July on sedition and terrorism charges, was released temporarily to attend his inauguration ceremony on August 30. (RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal)

Video Suicide Bomber Attacks Chinese Embassy In Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyz authorities say a suicide car bomber attacked China's embassy in the capital, Bishkek, killing himself and wounding three embassy employees. Officials said a car laden with explosives rammed through the embassy's gate and detonated inside the compound on August 30.

Video Kazakhs Sign Letter To President Nazarbaev In Blood

About a dozen Kazakh pensioners have signed an appeal to President Nursultan Nazarbaev in blood, calling for him to "ensure the rule of law." They gathered on August 29 at offices of the ruling party in the city of Almaty.

Video Ukrainians Remember Troops Killed In 2014 Ilovaisk Battle

In Kyiv, Ukrainians honored soldiers and security forces killed while fighting Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine in 2014. They gathered at Saint Michael's Square to recall those who died two years ago in and around the city of Ilovaisk. (RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service)

Video Protesters Block Planned Eviction Amid Dispute Over Belgrade Redevelopment

Activists gathered outside a house in Belgrade to stop authorities from evicting a family and seizing the property. The neighborhood is the site of a massive redevelopment project that has provoked vocal protests from residents. (RFE/RL's Balkan Service)

Video Police Collect Evidence Following Attack On American University In Kabul

Afghan police hunted for evidence a day after an attack on American University of Afghanistan in Kabul left at least 13 people dead. (RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan)

Video Kyrgyz Coal Miners Demand Back Pay

Miners from a coal mine in Kyrgyzstan said they haven't been paid for five months. They staged a protest on August 25 to demand the mining company pay them the salary they are owed. (RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service)

Video Ukraine Makes Show Of Force To Mark 25 Years Of Independence

Amid rising tensions with Russia, Ukraine marked 25 years of independence with a massive military parade in Kyiv. (RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service)

Video Serbian Olympians Return Home To Hero's Welcome

Thousands of cheering people jammed into the center of the Serbian capital, Belgrade, to welcome home the country's Olympians from the Rio Summer Games. (RFE/RL Balkan Service)

Video Pakistani Opposition Supporters Storm TV Station; Police Raid Party's Office

Supporters of Pakistan's opposition Muttahida Qaumi Movement, or MQM, stormed a TV station in Karachi on August 22, leading to clashes with police that left one person dead. Authorities then raided the party's headquarters and arrested several of its top leaders. (RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal)

Video Russian Soldier Sentenced To Life In Prison For Killing Armenian Family

A court in Gyumri, Armenia, sentenced Russian Army Private Valery Permyakov to life in prison for murdering seven members of an Armenian family. The massacre last year led to widespread protests against Russia's military presence in Armenia. (RFE/RL's Armenian Service)

Video Ukrainian Soldiers Fight Separatists In Shyrokyne

Clashes between Ukrainian soldiers and Russia-backed separatists continued for another night in Shyrokyne, near the port city of Mariupol. The nighttime fighting has been nearly constant in the town for several weeks. (RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service)

Video Ukrainian Right-Wing Groups March In Support Of Jailed Suspects

Activists held a torchlight procession in the city of Sumy on August 21 in defense of 15 suspects indicted for the deadly violence in front of the Ukrainian parliament one year ago. Members of the Right Sector and other factions called for the release of what they called "political prisoners."

Video Pakistani Lawyers Condemn Suicide Attack

Lawyers demonstrated in Islamabad on August 22 to demand stronger government action against terrorism in the wake of an attack that killed 73 people, mainly lawyers, in Quetta two weeks earlier. (RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal)

Video Fresh Fighting Rocks Ukraine's Shyrokyne

Ukraine's village of Shyrokyne has been the scene of fresh clashes between Ukrainian government forces and Russia-backed separatists.

Video Huge Mafia Funeral In Azerbaijan

Large crowds turned out in the Caspian Sea city of Lankaran to bid farewell to a man allegedly involved in racketeering, drugs, bribery, and lots more. (RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service)

Video Modest Opposition Ceremony Marks '91 Moscow Putsch

Leaders of a Russian opposition party laid wreaths at the monument to three people killed in the 1991 Moscow putsch, amid official efforts to play down the anniversary. (RFE/RL's Russian Service)

Video New Fighting Flares In Southeastern Ukraine

Fresh clashes broke out overnight as Ukrainian troops battled Russia-backed separatists in Talakivka, near the city of Mariupol. The fighting was the latest in a recent flare-up of hostilities in the country's east. (RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service)

Video Ukrainians Rally In Support Of Anticorruption Bureau

Protesters demonstrated in front of Ukraine's National Anticorruption Bureau on August 17 amid a growing conflict between that body and the Prosecutor's Office, which raided the bureau last week.

Video Macedonians Continue Clean-Up After Devastating Floods

Residents of Skopje worked to clear roads and pump mud out of houses nearly two weeks after flash floods swept through the capital and nearby villages, killing 22 people. (RFE/RL's Balkan Service)

Video U.S. Vice President Biden In Belgrade At Start Of Balkan Tour

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden arrived on August 16 in the Serbian capital, where he was set to meet with President Tomislav Nikolic and Prime Minister Aleksander Vucic. Biden is also scheduled to visit Kosovo, and is expected to press both countries to normalize relations. (RFE/RL's Balkan Service)

Video Fighting Flares In Ukraine's Maryinka, As Both Sides Hold Ground

Ukrainian troops traded fire overnight with Russia-backed separatists in the eastern city of Maryinka, where both sides have been holding their positions for weeks. (RFE/RL's Current Time TV)

Video Kosovo Welcomes First Olympic Medalist On Return From Rio

Residents of Pristina cheered for judo champion Majlinda Kelmendi as she returned home from the Olympic Games on August 14. Kelmendi won the first gold medal for Kosovo since the country declared independence in 2008. (RFE/RL's Balkan Service)

Video New Serbian Government Sworn In, Including First Openly Gay Minister

Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic's new cabinet has been sworn in after protracted coalition talks. He called an early election in April and his party topped the vote, but negotiations on forming a coalition government lasted nearly four months. (RFE/RL's Balkan Service)


Video Kyrgyzstan Buries Moscow Fire Victims

Funerals have been held in Kyrgyzstan after 14 Kyrgyz women perished in a fire at a print works in Moscow. The tragedy has refocused attention on the plight of Kyrgyz migrant workers in Russia, where it's estimated some 1,500 Kyrgyz have died in the last five years.

Video Man Behind Putin Mask Protest Seeks Asylum in Ukraine

Russian opposition activist, Roman Roslovtsev, has fled to Ukraine and is asking for political asylum. He had been arrested several times in Russia for wearing a mask of President Vladimir Putin.

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August 03, 2016

Uzbekistan Acts Against Brother Of RFE/RL Journalist

A court in Uzbekistan today sentenced the brother of an RFE/RL journalist to in prison in the latest government action involving persons affiliated with the media company's Uzbek Service.
August 01, 2016

RFE/RL Demands Azerbaijan Reopen Baku Bureau

An Azerbaijani court will convene on August 3 to hear RFE/RL’s appeal against the closure of the company's Baku bureau in December 2014 on charges RFE/RL insists are baseless.
July 30, 2016

RFE/RL Journalists Attacked in Armenia

Three RFE/RL Armenian Service journalists were attacked by a large group of plainclothes men late on July 29, while they were covering clashes between riot police and protesters in Yerevan.
July 22, 2016

U.S. Congressmen Urge Turkmenistan To Release Nepeskuliev

Seven U.S. Congressmen have sent a letter to Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, calling for the release of RFE/RL Turkmen Service contributor Saparmamed Nepeskuliev.