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News From Azerbaijan (RFE/RL Azerbaijani Service)

News From Azerbaijan (RFE/RL Azerbaijani Service)


Amanpour Calls On Azerbaijan To Free Khadija Ismayilova

CNN chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour recognized Ismayilova’s work and wrongful imprisonment during UNESCO ceremonies honoring the journalist on May 3, World Press Freedom Day.

Jailed Iranian Activist Given Press Freedom Award In Absentia

On World Press Freedom Day, the media advocacy group Reporters Without Borders gave its “Heroes of Information” award to imprisoned Iranian activist Narges Mohammadi, who was jailed after campaigning on behalf of Iranian political prisoners.

Lenin On The Red Cross

Alexey Domnikov, a lawyer and member of the civil movement Unity of Differences, put a sculpture of Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin atop a cross inside a giant Easter egg in an absurdist outdoor installation he called a “slap to the face” of “a sick Russian society” and “a lying Russian Orthodox church.” (Russian Service)

Corruption Scandal Inflames Macedonia Protests

The decision by President Gjorge Ivanov to pardon politicians implicated in a corruption and wiretapping scandal drew at least 1,000 people to the streets in Skopje on May 4 in a continuation of protests that have been dubbed the "Colorful Revolution."

Georgia's Annual Game Of Lelo

Once a year, hundreds of people in a small Georgian village spend the afternoon pushing, biting, and grappling with each other to move a 16-kilogram ball across one of the streams that flow at each end of the main street.


Bellingcat Says Russian Buk Downed Flight MH17

A team of researchers investigating the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 says it has positively identified a Russian Buk missile launcher that shot down the plane.

Estonia Seeks NATO Response to Russian Jets

Russian military planes regularly violate Estonian airspace in what the country's defense minister described on May 3 as "incredibly reckless" behavior.

Chechen Whistle-Blower Disappears After Acting Against Kadyrov

Bloggers and activists are expressing concern about Ramazan Dzhalaldinov, who has disappeared after lodging a formal complaint requesting legal action against Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov.

Armenian Government Sends Karabakh Independence Bill To Parliament

The bill is the result of discussions between Armenia and the separatist region of Nagorno Karabakh, legally part of Azerbaijan, and is scheduled for review by Armenia’s parliament on May 10. (In Russian/Current Time TV)

Serbian Prime Minister Loses Ground In Repeat Elections

Preliminary results from the May 4 repeat vote at 15 polling stations show the far-right, anti-Western Dveri movement has surpassed the 5 percent threshold needed for parliamentary representation.

Ukraine Monitors Accuse Election Commission Of Playing Politics

Ukraine’s Committee of Voters has accused the country’s Central Election Commission of breaking the law by refusing to announce elections in a number of important majoritarian districts. (In Ukrainian)

Putin’s Chief Motorcyclist Fails Soviet History Class

While the Kremlin loves to accuse the West of misrepresenting the Soviet Union’s role in World War II, it was Aleksandr Zaldostanov, the leader of the notorious pro-Putin Night Wolves motorcycle club, who indulged in some significant historical revisionism earlier this week.

Taliban Knock At Uzbekistan’s Southern Door

Afghanistan's Ariana TV reported on May 2 that the Taliban attacked an Afghan border post in the Kaldor district of Balkh Province, just east of Uzbekistan's southernmost city of Termez.

MOST READ/RUSSIA: How Leaders Leave

Prominent political commentator Andrei Piontkovsky argues that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s political demise began with the assassination of Boris Nemtsov, the cause of a serious rift with members of the country’s security services, who have influence and leverage independent of the president. (over 90K on Russian Service website)