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The Rundown -- March 18


RFE/RL in the Media
# Today's Zeman cites RFE/RL interview with German-Turkish leader calling on Ankara to recognize "genocide"
Russia
# Russia rules out handing back Crimea, expands war games
# Looming recession unsettling once booming city of Kaluga
# "Has the Russian System’s Agony Begun?" - Lilia Shevtsova, American Interest
# Why an American, and the the best woman basketball player in the world, is playing in Russia
Ukraine
# Ukraine approve special status law, but separatist leaders say it doesn't meet Minsk demands
# Ukraine scrambles to avoid new unrest after child killed by military vehicle
# Three soldiers killed in eastern Ukraine fighting
# Crisis taking toll on Ukraine's oligarchs (Akhmetov has lost as much as $5.8 billion)
Iraq/Syria
# Iraq's Tikrit offensive stalled by IS bombs
# American basketball players gain fans in Iraqi league
# IS vandalizing historic church in Mosul
# IS' "long con" in Syria
Iran
# Optimism and caution from nuclear negotiators as deadline nears
# UN says Iran oppression of rights, women worse under Rohani
Afghanistan/Pakistan
# UN envoy and Russian representative say IS has foothold in Afghanistan
# Is Turkey a target in Afghanistan?
# Pakistan hangs 12 convicts in jails across the country
# Lawyer for man who helped CIA find bin Laden shot dead in Pakistan
Caucasus
# Azerbaijan sentences opposition activist to six years in jail
Of Interest
# On of the greatest AP corrections ever
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