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Afghanistan Votes, Russia Spins, and Moldova Strategizes

A policeman stands near a billboard for the presidential election at a checkpoint in Kabul, April 4, 2014.

A policeman stands near a billboard for the presidential election at a checkpoint in Kabul, April 4, 2014.

RFE/RL's Weekly Rundown, a concise look at our top stories and events this week, and what's coming up next:

# Afghanistan’s presidential election will usher in a new era after 12 years of rule by President Hamid Karzai. Follow updates in Frud Bezhan's blog "After Karzai: Afghan Election 2014."

# The latest from #UkraineUnspun, including the 20 Russian news outlets you need to read before they get the ax, claims that non-Russian ethnic minorities are facing persecution in Ukraine, and are there really only six Ukrainians left in Crimea? Follow breaking news in Live Blog: Crisis in Ukraine.

# In Russia, correspondent Robert Coalson spent an entire day watching state Rossia-1 television to get an impression of how Russians see the world, correspondent Carl Schreck reports that the venerable Cambridge University Press, citing libel fears, will not publish an expose on President Vladimir Putin, and in "The Power Vertical" podcast, Brian Whitmore talks about Russia's looming Crimean Tatar problem with Rim Gilfanov, director of the Tatar-Bashkir Service, and correspondent and analyst Merkhat Sharipzhan.

# RFE/RL's Moldovan Service talks to Transdniestrians and members of the country's Gagauz ethnic minority about Chisinau's push to join the European Union.

# Did you miss Iran's Mahmud Ahmadinejad? Because he's making a comeback of sorts, reports correspondent Golnaz Esfandiari.

# Long-awaited help has been promised for the Turkmen of the Qarqeen area in northern Afghanistan and RFE/RL’s Turkmen Service, Azatlyk, can claim some credit for that.

Coming up:

# Monday April 7 at 12 noon: RFE/RL cohosts a Google+ Hangout with The McCain Institute for International Leadership and the Prague Freedom Foundation on Russian propaganda and Russian minorities in Eastern Europe. To participate in the discussion, visit The McCain Institute's Google+ or YouTube pages.

# Thursday April 10 from 1:00-3:00 pm: Correspondent Abubakar Siddique discusses his new book "The Pashtun Question: The Unresolved Key to the Future of Pakistan and Afghanistan" at John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC. He will be joined by Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker. To RSVP or for details, please respond to this message or contact Rebecca Aman at

For news from all of RFE/RL's broadcast regions, follow us online and on Twitter and Facebook.

-- Karisue Wyson