Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Week Ahead: October 6-12

Norway -- African National Congress (ANC) leader Nelson Mandela (C) holds up the medal and certificate after he was jointly awarded the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize with South African President F.W. de Klerk (R) at a ceremony at Oslo's city hall, 10Dec1993

The Week Ahead is a detailed listing of key events of the coming week affecting RFE/RL's broadcast region.
Now on Twitter! Daily updates at @The_Week_Ahead.

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MONDAY, October 6:
EU: European Policy Center in Brussels hosts a discussion titled “Georgia 2008 – Ukraine 2014: Implications for the Euro-Atlantic Choice.”
MoldovaLegatum Institute hosts a presentation of Vladimir Soloviev’s report titled “Moldova. The Failing Champion of European Integration.” 
Ukraine: U.S. State Department Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland visits Kyiv to hold talks with senior Ukrainian government leaders.

U.S./Russia: Wilson Center in Washington hosts a discussion titled "Russia and U.S. : Is a Real Partnership Still Possible?"
World:  The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2014 announced in Stockholm.

TUESDAY, October 7:
EU: European Parliament shortlists three candidates for the 2014 Sakharov Prize.
EU/Moldova: The European Parliament's foreign affairs committee debates the Association Agreement with Moldova.
Serbia/Russia: Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic visits Moscow (to October 8).
U.S./NATO: The Elliott School of International Affairs in Washington hosts a discussion titled “NATO After Wales: Back to Area and Back in Business.”
World: The Nobel Prize in Physics 2014 announced in Stockholm.
WEDNESDAY, October 8:
GermanyFrankfurt Book Fair opens (to October 12).
Germany: Winners of the European Union Prize for Literature announced in Frankfurt.
Kazakhstan/EU: Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev visits Brussels (to October 9).
U.S./Russia: The Elliott School of International Affairs in Washington hosts a discussion titled “Where is the Putin Regime Headed?
World: The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2014 announced in Stockholm.
THURSDAY, October 9:
Belarus: Minsk hosts a Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) foreign ministers council meeting.
EU: European Commission hosts a high level energy security conference in Brussels..
U.S./Ukraine: Wilson Center in Washington hosts a discussion titled "Russia and Ukraine: Hybrid War in the Donbas."
World: The Nobel Prize in Literature 2014 announced in Stockholm.
FRIDAY, October 10:
Belarus: Minsk hosts the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) Council of Heads of State and the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council meetings.

CultureWarsaw Film Festival opens (to October 19).
EU/Serbia: European Policy Center in Brussels hosts a policy briefing on the Serbia's EU accession negotiations with the participation of the Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic.
IMF/World Bank: Washington hosts the IMF and the World Bank Group annual meetings (to October 12).

World: The Nobel Peace Prize 2014 announced in Oslo.
SATURDAY, October 11:
SUNDAY, October 12:
Bosnia-HerzegovinaGeneral Elections.
Czech RepublicPrague hosts the  18th Forum 2000 Conference (to October 15).

Tags:calendar of events, radio free europe, radio liberty

'Darth Vaders' To Vie For Ukraine Parliamentary Seats

A man wearing the outfit of iconic "Star Wars" villain Darth Vader at a public appearance on behalf of the Ukrainian Internet Party (UIP).

Sixteen Darth Vaders have made an imperial march onto the ballot in Ukraine’s upcoming parliamentary elections, the latest and most expansive appearance of the “Star Wars” villain’s name and likeness in the country’s political life.

All have been registered by Ukraine’s Central Election Commission for the October 26 ballot, a snap election announced by President Petro Poroshenko in August.

Seven of the "Darth Vaders" are with the Internet Party of Ukraine, which advocates technological improvements to eliminate bureaucracy, while the other five are running as independents.

Ukrainian political activists have used the “Dark Lord” of the legendary science-fiction series in several political stunts in recent years.

In 2013, Internet Party of Ukraine activists dressed as the evil commander tried to enter the Justice Ministry in Kyiv, demanding an appointment with then-Justice Minister Oleksandr Lavrynovych to demand that the ministry stop pressuring the party.

In 2011, a Ukrainian official in the Ukrainian Black Sea resort of Odesa didn’t flinch when a resident showed up dressed as Darth Vader to apply for a free plot of land, citing a Ukrainian law stating that citizens have a right to own 1,000 square meters of land, Reuters reported at the time.

The man identified himself as "Darth Vader, the right hand of Emperor Palpatine,” and said that because local elected officials had “switched to the dark side” he had come for a plot of land to park his “space cruiser.”

While the 16 Darth Vaders registered for the October vote have the same first and last names, they have a range of patronymics. Six are named “Darth Volodymyrovych Vader,” while the others have patronymics such as “Viktorovych,” “Leonidovych” and “Olehovych.”


While Darth Vader was a paragon of evil in most of director George Lucas’s first three “Star Wars” films, none of the Ukrainian candidates has a criminal record.

The Internet Party of Ukraine is running several candidates with names of “Star Wars” characters, including "Master Volodymyrovych Yoda," "Stepan Mikhaylovych Chewbacca," and "Emperor Viktorovych Palpatine."

-- Carl Schreck

The Week Ahead: September 29 - October 5

October 5: World Teachers' Day.

The Week Ahead is a detailed listing of key events of the coming week affecting RFE/RL's broadcast region.
Now on Twitter! Daily updates at @The_Week_Ahead.

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MONDAY, September 29:
Council of Europe: The winner of the Václav Havel Human Rights Prize 2014 announced in Strasbourg.

Council of Europe: The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) autumn session begins in Strasbourg (to October 3).
GlobalWorld Heart Day.
Kyrgyzstan: Bishkek hosts the 80th Congress of the International PEN club (to October 2). 
TUESDAY, September 30:
Russia: Internet Day.
WEDNESDAY, October 1:
Azerbaijan: United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Administrator Helen Clark visits Baku (to October 4).
Russia: The St. Petersburg Media Forum opens (to October 10).

THURSDAY, October 2:
Azerbaijan: Baku hosts the fourth International Humanitarian Forum (to October 3).
Azerbaijan/UK: An Azerbaijani-British business forum opens in Baku (to October 2).
Council of Europe: Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov addresses the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).
Saudi Arabia: Beginning of the Hajj, the Muslim pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca.
FRIDAY, October 3:
OSCE: Geneva hosts the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly's 13th Autumn Meeting (to October 5).
Ukraine: The International Ukraine Gas forum opens in Brussels.
SATURDAY, October 4:
SUNDAY, October 5:
EU: Milan hosts an informal meeting of the 28 EU energy ministers (to October 6).

Tags:calendar of events, radio free europe, radio liberty

The Week Ahead: September 22-28

September 22: Iranian President Hassan Rohani travels to the United States to attend the UN General Assembly in New York.

The Week Ahead is a detailed listing of key events of the coming week affecting RFE/RL's broadcast region.
Now on Twitter! Daily updates at @The_Week_Ahead.

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MONDAY, September 22:
Belarus/U.S.: The first U.S.-Belarus Investment Forum begins in New York.
GeorgiaMilitary service personnel from Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Georgia participate in the Eternity-2014 exercises in Tbilisi.
IranIranian President Hassan Rohani travels to the United States to attend the UN General Assembly session in New York.
Moldova: World Bank Vice President for Europe and Central Asia Laura Tuck visits Chisinau
UN: New York hosts the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples (to September 23).

OSCE: Warsaw hosts an OSCE The Human Dimension Implementation meeting (to October 3).
U.S./Ukraine: Wilson Center in Washington hosts a discussion titled "The Ukraine Crisis: The View from Odessa."

U.S./Russia: Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington hosts a discussion titled "Russia's Role in Asian Energy Markets."
U.S./PONARS: Leading scholars and experts from North America and post-Soviet Eurasian countries attend the PONARS Eurasia Annual Conference 2014 in Washington.
TUESDAY, September 23:
Romania: The South East Europe Media Organization (SEEMO), an affiliate of the International Press Institute (IPI), holds a conference on press freedom, the influence of politics on media, and corruption in Bucharest.

Ukraine: European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee in Brussels hosts a discussion on the situation in Ukraine.

EU: European Parliament presents in Brussels the nominees for this year's Sakharov Prize.
UN: New York hosts the UN Climate Summit 2014
WEDNESDAY, September 24:
Azerbaijan: Baku hosts the TEFI-Community international television festival (to September 27).
Belarus/MoldovaChisinau hosts Belarus-Moldova business forum (to September 25).

Belarus/Moldova: Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka visits Chisinau (to September 25).

EU: European Parliament's International Trade Committee holds a debate on the association agreements with Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova in Brussels.

Ukraine: Kyiv hosts a Eurasia Forum for Media Development meeting (to September 26).
UN: The UN General Debate opens in New York (to September 30).
U.S./Ukraine: International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in Washington hosts a discussion titled "Energy Security and the Ukraine Crisis."
THURSDAY, September 25:
FRIDAY, September 26:
SUNDAY, September 28:
Turkmenistan: Ashgabat hosts a constituent assembly of the Agrarian Party.

Tags:calendar of events, radio free europe, radio liberty

Photogallery Karimova Pictured Under 'House Arrest'


Several photographs showing Uzbek President Islam Karimov's once-powerful daughter during her alleged house arrest have been released to the media.

The images show Gulnara Karimova, an erstwhile globe-trotting fashionista now facing what she calls politically motivated corruption charges, apparently being hassled by camouflaged security officers outside her home.

Dressed casually in a sweatshirt and slippers, the photographs show her in what appears to be a tense standoff with the three men in blue fatigues.

The images were distributed to the media September 16 by the 42-year-old's Britain-based spokesman, Locksley Ryan, who said in an e-mailed statement that Karimova and her daughter are in "urgent need of medical attention."

"To add to this, those keeping her and her daughter prisoner have decided to inflict a program of systematic starvation, preventing any food from reaching them," Ryan said.

Karimova, 42, was a wealthy businesswoman living mainly in Europe until a corruption scandal last year led to setbacks that included the closure of her businesses, the arrest of friends and associates, and her alleged confinement in a Tashkent house.

On September 8, a woman identified as "G. Karimova" was identified by the Uzbek Prosecutor-General's Office as a suspect in a graft case.

Ryan said Karimova "is being held for purely political reasons" and linked her detention to the planned presidential elections in Uzbekistan early next year.

"During this campaign, the backing Gulnara continues to receive appears to pose a threat to those who have surrounded her father and who are keen to cling on to the unhealthy influence this affords them," Ryan said, adding that Karimova "has no interest whatsoever in the politics of today's Uzbekistan."

There was considerable speculation before her fortunes took a turn that she might be groomed to succeed her father, who has dominated Uzbekistan for 23 years.

Karimova said in recordings obtained by the BBC last month that she and her daughter are being treated "worse than dogs."

Gastronomy Vs. Politics: Crimean Tatars Boycott Elections With Pies

Boycotting Election, Crimean Tatars Make Pies Insteadi
September 15, 2014
As Crimea held local and regional elections on September 14, many Crimean Tatars boycotted the vote -- the first election since Russia annexed the peninsula. In the town of Bakhchysarai, some residents, like Gulzara, highlighted the boycott by making a traditional Crimean Tatar dish, chebureki, instead of going to the polls. (RFE/RL)
Mustafa Chaush

As local and regional elections unfolded across Crimea on September 14, the smell of fried meat pies filled the streets in the city of Bakhchysarai.

Crimean Tatars, an indigenous population of the peninsula, have actively boycotted the vote -- the first local elections since Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in March.

In Bakhchysarai, an ancient city that once served as the capital of the Crimean khanate, some Crimean Tatars chose to snub the vote by demonstratively staying home and cooking a traditional Crimean Tatar dish: meat pies known as "chebureki."

"What elections?" scoffs Gulzara, a Crimean Tatar living in Bakhchysarai, as she molds the half-moon-shaped pasties. "Everything has long been decided for us."

The initiative, dubbed "Chebureki Instead Of Elections," aimed to peacefully reject the legitimacy of Crimea's new Moscow-backed authorities while upholding Crimean Tatar culture. 

Gulzara says the protest was a success.

"It was great," she says. "I had plenty of guests, people who also didn't take part in the election."

Residents of the Black Sea peninsula were voting to select lawmakers for the parliaments of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, and for local city council members.

Lawmakers will then elect governors for Crimea and Sevastopol.

A preliminary count gave the ruling United Russia party a strong lead with more than 70 percent of votes, trailed by the nationalist Liberal Democratic Party of Russia with just over 8 percent of the ballots.

In Sevastopol, which voted separately, United Russia had captured 59 percent of the vote with half the ballots counted.

Critics, however, reject the vote as both illegitimate and flawed.

A leading independent Russian election watchdog, Golos, said its observers were prevented from entering several polling stations in Crimea.

  • At a polling station in Simferopol, Russia's double-headed eagle has replaced the Ukrainian emblem.
  • Irregularities were reported soon after the polling stations opened.
  • A man casts his ballot in Simferopol.
  • Turnout was reportedly lower than during the independence referendum that paved the way for Russia's takeover in March.
  • A voter studies the ballot. Many residents of Crimea, voting in a Russian election for the first time, are unfamiliar with Russian political parties.
  • A quiet moment at a polling station
  • Election officials reported voter turnout at 60 percent.
  • Police, self-defense groups, election observers, and officials of the Emergency Ministry were all on watch at polling stations.

The election took place against the backdrop of increasing pressure on Crimean Tatars, who are facing raids on their homes, religious institutions, businesses and schools.

"Such actions are clearly disproportionate and create an atmosphere of fear and intimidation," Nils Muižnieks, the Council of Europe's human rights commissioner, said on September 12 following a visit to Crimea. 

Muižnieks said it was "essential to create a sense of security not only for Crimean Tatars but also for ethnic Ukrainians and those who have expressed critical views of recent political developments."

The Week Ahead: September 15-21

September 16: The European Union and Ukrainian parliaments are scheduled to ratify the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement.

The Week Ahead is a detailed listing of key events of the coming week affecting RFE/RL's broadcast region.
Now on Twitter! Daily updates at @The_Week_Ahead.

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MONDAY, September 15:
EUEuropean Parliament plenary session opens in Strasbourg (to September 18).
EU/Russia: The EU commissioner responsible for agriculture Dacian Ciolos address the European Parliament plenary session on the impact of the Russian food ban on the EU agricultural market.
Iran/TurkmenistanIranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehqan visits Ashgabat to discuss bilateral, regional, and international issues with Turkmen officials. 

IraqFrance hosts an international conference aimed at combating the Islamic State (IS) militant group in Iraq.

Russia: Russia’s international food and drink trade show opens in Moscow.

UkraineMilitary exercises, called "Rapid Trident," involving some 1,300 personnel from 15 nations begin in western Ukraine (to September 26).

UN: International Day of Democracy.

U.S./Russia: Harvard's Institute of Politics hosts a conversation with the feminist protest art collective Pussy Riot.
World: The 2014 WebAward winners announced.
TUESDAY, September 16:
UN: The 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly begins in New York (to October 1).

Ukraine: The UN special rapporteur on the human rights of IDPs, Chaloka Beyani, visits Ukraine to gather first-hand information from internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the country.
(to September 25).
WEDNESDAY, September 17:
EU: European Parliament plenary session is scheduled to discuss the situations in Iraq and Syria (to September 18).
Montenegro/Azerbaijan: Montenegrin Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic visits Baku (to September 20).
Poland:  The 75th anniversary of the invasion of Poland by the Soviet Union, sixteen days after Nazi Germany invaded the Polish state.
TurkmenistanInternational Telecoms & IT Conference opens in Ashgabad (to September 18).
Ukraine/CanadaUkrainian President Petro Poroshenko visits Ottawa, gives a speech at the Canadian Parliament.
THURSDAY, September 18:

United Kingdom: Scotland holds referendum on its independence.

EU/Azerbaijan: The European Parliament holds a debate on persecution of human rights defenders in Azerbaijan.
FRIDAY, September 19:
SUNDAY, September 21:

Tags:calendar of events, radio free europe, radio liberty

About This Blog

Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at

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