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Food Fight in Russia, Battleground Ukraine, Frozen Conflict Heats Up in Caucasus, and more


RFE/RL's Weekly Rundown, a concise look at our top stories this week.

# Food Fight in Russia: Russia responded to Western sanctions over Ukraine by banning food imports from the U.S., the European Union, Australia, Canada, and Norway. Although some say it could be a boon for domestic production, Russian foodies are torn between national pride and a longing for European delicacies. Meanwhile, a French developer is moving ahead, in spite of the sanctions, with plans to build a Russian history themed amusement park near Moscow. And the Kremlin's support for "federalization" in Ukraine doesn't seem to apply to its own citizens, after Russia's Internet monitoring agency acted to ban online mention of a planned "March for the Federalization of Siberia."

# Battleground Ukraine: A Ukrainian journalist tells RFE/RL the ghoulish story of the 77 days she was held in captivity by pro-Russian separatists. In Kyiv, moves to dismantle the protest camp still occupying the Maidan are met with demonstrations, while the government struggles with the question of how to get Crimea back -- or if it is even possible. And dozens of groups are rallying to help supply both sides of the armed struggle in eastern Ukraine. Follow it all on RFE/RL's Ukraine in Crisis live blog.

# VIDEO: Meet retired sniper "Klym" and former Georgian police officer "Doberman" -- two of the newest recruits in Ukraine's struggle against pro-Russian separatists.

# Frozen Conflict Heats Up in Caucasus: Deadly skirmishes have erupted this week between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces over the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh, with each side blaming the other for the escalation in violence. RFE/RL talks to frightened civilians on both sides of the front, offers answers to five central questions about the conflict, and asks, are the clashes a prelude to war?

# Afghanistan Feels the Bite: International forces are leaving Afghanistan in advance of the December 31, 2014 deadline for completing their withdrawal. What has been the impact on employment and opportunity for local Afghans? And RFE/RL's Frud Bezhan walks the dusty alleyways of "Obama Bazaar", Kabul's once thriving market, for American military gear and foodstuffs.

# Back to Iraq: Middle East analyst Michael Stephens explains to RFE/RL how the decision to order war planes back to Iraq might change the military and strategic landscape in Iraq.

# Short Changed: Uzbeks trying to redeem government bonds have found they’re worth little more than the paper they’re printed on.

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