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The Rundown -- January 31


RFE/RL in the Media

# Slate cites Tom Balmforth's piece on Steven Seagal's praise of Putin
# Belfast Telegraph uses RFE/RL Russian Service video of a ballerina performing in chains to deliver Amnesty petition
# RT cites RFE/RL in commentary on western "meddling" in Ukraine
Ukraine
# Automaidan leader found alive, but apparently tortured, eight days after disappearance
# Opposition protesters fighting amongst themselves
# "New York Times" editorial: Time for a deal
Russia
# The alleged heroin kingpin who helped the Olympics come to Sochi
# "The Triumph of Vladimir Putin" - "The Economist"
# Russian newspaper editor reportedly fired and now fined for printing interview with gay man
Eastern Europe
# Russia accuses Belarus of potato smuggling
Iran
# Iran's ability to make weapons now a matter of political will, not technical restraints
# "With Iran, Israel, Kerry is Master of the Interim Deal" - David Ignatius, "Washington Post"
# Rand Paul opposes new Iran sanctions
# Ankara trying to meet Tehran in the middle on Syria policy
# "On Iran, Compromise Is Needed" - Fareed Zakaria, "Washington Post"
Iraq
# Baghdad hires law-firm to deal with buyers of "illegal" Kurdish oil
# Police retake control of ministry gunmen had stormed
Afghanistan/Pakistan
# U.S. cancels funds for pre-election opinion polls
# U.S. says Afghanistan can't keep deferring its decision on security pact
# Audit says Afghanistan can't be trusted to prevent misuse of aid
# U.S. mending ties with Pakistan
# Dialogue process with Pakistani Taliban directed to start
Balkans
# Dispute over whether Bosniak or Serb will carry flag for Bosnia at Olympics
Central Asia
# Journalists and activists arrested at pro-Euromaidan protest in Tashkent
# Poor sales for Berdymukhamedov calendars in Turkmenistan
# Popular Russian photo-blogger says police don't allow pictures of nice things in Almaty
Caucasus
# Video appears to show former Georgian PM and Interior Minister ordering killings in 2009
# "Beyond Shah Deniz: Azerbaijan’s Next-Generation Gas" - Vladimir Socor, Jamestown Foundation
Of Interest
# Should neo-Nazi students be named and shamed?
# What you tweet matters
# North Korean Ambassador to the UK speaks with Sky News
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