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Ukraine’s PrivatBank: Politics (Vertical Axis) Meets Withdrawals (Horizontal Axis) (RFE/RL Ukrainian Service)

Ukraine’s PrivatBank: Politics (Vertical Axis) Meets Withdrawals (Horizontal Axis) (RFE/RL Ukrainian Service)

VIDEO REPORTS

Putin Calls Assassination A ‘Provocation’

At a late-night Kremlin meeting shown on state TV in response to the assassination of Russia’s ambassador to Turkey at an art gallery in Ankara, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the killing was intended to disrupt ties between Moscow and Ankara, and vowed to step up the fight against "bandits."

Truck Runs Into Berlin Christmas Market, Twelve Dead

A truck plowed into a crowded Christmas market in the German capital, Berlin, killing at least nine people and injuring up to 50 others, police said.

Saving Schindler's Factory

The factory where Oskar Schindler saved the lives of 1,200 Jews during World War II is currently a crumbling ruin -- but that's about to change.

Ukraine Miners Struggle For Economic Survival

The town of Hirske, located in government-controlled territory in eastern Ukraine’s Luhansk region, depends on a coal mine for most of its jobs, but major investments are needed, and clashes continue just a few kilometers away.

Polish Protests Prompt Political Crisis

Thousands of opposition protesters took to the streets of Warsaw angry that the ruling Law and Justice party wants to curtail press freedom.

Drone Racers Compete In Kazakh National Championship

The growing sport of drone racing and a top prize of a million tenge attracted nearly 50 contestants to an arena in the Kazakh capital, Astana.

OTHER NEWS

Russian, Turkish, Iranian Envoys To Meet In Moscow

The foreign ministers of Russia, Turkey, and Iran are set to meet in Moscow over Syria, a day after the assassination of Russia’a ambassador to Turkey.

UN Approves Resolution On Russian Abuses In Crimea

The UN General Assembly has passed a resolution that recognizes Crimea as "temporarily occupied" by Russia and condemns the "abuses" and "discrimination" against Crimean Tatars, ethnic Ukrainians, and other groups on the peninsula.

EU Extends Russia Sanctions Through July 2017

The European Union has extended sanctions against Russia for its actions in Ukraine for another six months.

Austrian Far-Right Party Signs Cooperation Pact With United Russia

An Austrian far-right party has signed a "cooperation pact" with Russia's ruling party, the latest sign of ties between the Kremlin and populist, anti-EU parties in Europe.

State Of Emergency After More Than 50 Dead From Bath Lotion In Siberia

The governor of Russia's Siberian region of Irkutsk declared a state of emergency as the death toll rose to more than 50 after dozens of people drank bath lotion.

Experts Doubt Grozny Attackers’ IS Ties

Russian security forces killed 11 suspected militants in clashes in Chechnya’s capital, Grozny, on December 17-18, claiming they had ties to the so-called Islamic State group, but analysts told RFE/RL there is no evidence of an IS connection, and that the protests may have been directed at authorities over local issues. (in Russian)

EU Lauds Nationalization Of Ukraine Bank

The European Union has praised Ukraine's leadership for its decision to nationalize the country's biggest bank, calling it a “courageous" move and a key component of broader reforms.

Fugitive Ukrainian Lawmaker Accuses Poroshenko Of War Profiteering

A fugitive Ukrainian lawmaker has charged that President Petro Poroshenko's allies are profiting from supplying troops fighting Russia-backed separatists.

Belarus Factory Executives Arrested On Corruption Charges

Belarus's KGB press service has announced that senior officials and staff of the Minsk Tractor Plant, Minsk Automobile Plant, BelAZ, and Gomselmash state-owned companies have been arrested on charges of forgery and accepting bribes of $200,000. (in Belarusian)

Serbia To Purchase Russian Military Jets

Serbia has announced it will purchase Russian military jets in a move that could add to tensions in the Balkans amid alleged Russian attempts to block countries in the region from joining Western institutions.

Russian Factory Abandons Condom Plans After Orthodox Protests

A factory that hoped to manufacture condoms in a Russian village acclaimed for its Christian heritage will forgo the contraceptives production after protests by Orthodox activists, says its managing partner.

COMMENTARY: Will The Nationalization Of PrivatBank Benefit Depositors?

Views on the nationalization vary: some experts say the decision was a power-play among oligarchs, as Ihor Kolomoyskiy might have used the bank against Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. Some Ukrainian legislators contend the decision was necessary to protect depositors and stabilize the financial system, while Fatherland party leader Yuliya Tymoshenko says it will destroy the country’s banking system. (in Ukrainian)

MOST READ/RUSSIA: Russian Prisons’ Deadly Education

Ten prison personnel are accused of abusing their authority in the fatal beating of a 16-year old Ukrainian national at a penitentiary for juveniles in Russia’s southern Krasnodar region in 2015, in a case that highlights grave human rights abuses in Russian prisons. (over 50K views on Russian Service website)

PODCAST: Untangling Russia’s Role In Afghanistan

With Omar Safi, former governor of Afghanistan’s northern Kunduz Province; Nikita Mendkovich, analyst, Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC), Moscow; and Shawn Snow, former intelligence analyst, Marine Special Operations Command.

MEDIA RELEASE: U.S. OSCE Envoy Condemns Punitive Actions Against Journalists In Central Asia

INFOGRAPHIC: Best Frenemies: Russian-Turkish Relations

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