Political corruption is not a new story, but these recent RFE/RL
reports expose the heights to which it reaches and the risks for those caught up in the process.
# Russian opposition figure and former deputy prime minister Boris Nemtsov says up to $30 billion has been stolen
from funds allocated to next year's Winter Olympics in Sochi, and in an interview with Radio Svoboda
, says President Vladimir Putin's cronies running the operation "are a real threat to Russia's national security." (Also from Radio Svoboda: Construction workers from Chechnya at the Sochi Olympic sites
express their discontent with the construction company management, saying they are not paid on time and are discriminated.)
# The Kyrgyz parliament is calling for the ouster of nearly a dozen high-ranking officials
who they say orchestrated the release of a Chechen criminal boss from jail. Aziz Batukaev was freed from a Naryn prison and flown to Chechnya in April after Kyrgyz officials ruled he was suffering from leukemia and required urgent medical treatment. But Kyrgyz lawmakers now say Batukaev's illness was a ruse, and have even presented pictures of the crime boss smoking and enjoying a sumptuous meal while in prison. Correspondents Zairbek Baktybaev and Daisy Sindelar report.
# The U.S.-based NGO Human Rights Watch has slammed Azerbaijan for arresting political opponents
on spurious drugs charges in the run-up to the country’s October presidential election. As correspondent Robert Coalson reports, Baku is not alone in using such tactics to muzzle dissent.
For more news in all of RFE/RL's broadcasts regions and more, follow us on online
and on Twitter