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The Rundown -- May 7

RFE/RL in the Media
# Read Maria Kugel and Daisy Sindelar in Guardian on Sergey Dyomin’s paintings of "holy monkeys"
# Read Carl Schreck in Guardian on the best Russian satirical accounts
# Fifteen ways Putin has changed Russia and the world
# April was the Russian ruble's best month since 1993
# Comparing Russia's military firepower to the West
# The conductor rescuing Mozart -- in Perm
# New talks in Minsk called "constructive"
# Ukrainian Interior Minister Avakov causes row, claiming U.S. training Azov battalion fighters
# What satellite photos can show about Russian forces near Ukraine
# "Ukraine Remembers the Lessons of World War II" - Yaroslav Brisiuck, Wall Street Journal
Middle East
# IS is running a five star hotel
# Massacre site in Iraq becomes monument for Shi'a
# Kerry calls for "pause" in Saudi strikes in Yemen to allow for food aid
# Syria appears to still be using chemical weapons
# Iran could shake up world pistachio market if sanctions stop
# Khamenei threatens Iran will walk from talks if held under "ghost of a threat"
# Afghan poppy farmers say new seeds will boost opium output
# "ISIL in Afghanistan? Not So fast" - Olof Blomqvist, Al Jazeera
# Pakistan separatist faces wrath of military
# 1.9 million displaced by Pakistan violence
# Another opposition leader sentenced in Azerbaijan
Of Interest