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The Rundown -- December 23


RFE/RL
# In letter to "Washington Post," Azerbaijan diplomat compares outrage over Khadija Ismayilova detention to current protests in the United States
Russia
# Kudrin warns of "full-fledged crisis" in Russia
# Russia under Putin in charts
# Why iPhones now cost $1,000 in Russia
Ukraine
# Peace talks to be held in Minsk on December 24 and 26
# Ukraine threatens to cut off power to rebel-held regions if usage not curbed
# Russia's top allies forge ties with Ukraine
# Why Ukraine's IDPs have given up hope of returning home
Eastern Europe
# Belarus enjoys bonanza amid Russia-West tensions
Iraq/Syria/Turkey
# Who pays the price for informal counterinsurgency
# Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
# "Brave New Turkey" - Andrew Finkel, "New York Times"
# Erdogan says birth control is "treason"
Iran
# Iran talks up global oil conspiracies
Afghanistan/Pakistan
# Can the West "get Afghanistan right?"
# Expat era fades away from life in Kabul
# Pakistan makes arrests in Peshawar attacks; Courts halt executions of seven militants
# Pakistan militants lose drug monopoly
Central Asia
# Kazakhstan says it's prepared for oil as low as $40 a barrel
Caucasus
# How will Baku handle the oil price slide
# Malta's "shady deal" with Azerbaijan
Of Interest
# In 2014, an epidemic of false video footage
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