Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Week Ahead: October 20-26

October 26: Ukraine holds parliamentary elections.

he 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 20:
Azerbaijan/EU: EU Special Representative for South Caucasus Herbert Salber visits Baku. 
EU: Luxembourg hosts a EU Foreign Affairs Council meeting
EUEuropean Parliament's Plenary Session opens in Strasbourg (to October 23).
EU/Ukraine: EU Commissioner for Energy Gunther Oettinger visits Kyiv.
Germany: Berlin hosts the World Health Summit 2014 (to October 22).
Ukraine: Amnesty International releases its briefing on the killings during the conflict in eastern Ukraine.  
World: The 2014 Oslo Freedom Forum opens (to October 22).
TUESDAY, October 21:
Azerbaijan/Lithuania: Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius visits Baku (to October 23).

EU: European Parliament is scheduled to discuss and vote on the prolongation of Ukraine’s duty-free access to the EU market (to October 22).
EU/Ukraine/Russia: Brussels hosts energy trilateral talks.

Georgia/Japan: Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili visits Tokyo (to October 25).
Russia/Belarus: Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev visits Minsk.
WEDNESDAY, October 22:
Albania/SerbiaAlbanian Prime Minister Edi Rama postponed his visit to Belgrade scheduled for October 22 to November 10, 2014.
EU: European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker presents his team of 27 Commissioners-designate in Strasbourg.

Turkey/Latvia: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visits Riga (to October 23).
THURSDAY, October 23:
EUEuropean Council meeting begins in Brussels (to October 24).
FRIDAY, October 24:
UNDisarmament Week (to October 30).

UK/Russia: Chatham House in London hosts a discussion titled "Russian Influence Abroad: Non-state Actors and Propaganda."

SATURDAY, October 25:

UkraineInternational film festival Molodost starts in Kyiv (to November 2).
SUNDAY, October 26:
EuropeDaylight Saving Time ends.

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

In Luhansk, Death For A Cartoon?

Irina Filatova had posted this photo of herself on her now-deleted VKontakte profile.

If a Luhansk-based news portal is to be believed, defamation comes with a heavy price in the self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic.

Particularly if the aggrieved is the self-styled minister of culture, Irina Filatova. 

She is allegedly outraged about a satirical cartoon that mocks her past propensity to gallivant less than fully clothed in public places.

And according to the Luhansk Radar news site, Filatova has requested a trial and some very specific punishments for Ukrainian singer and writer Irena Karpa, the creator of the cartoon "Neo-Soviet Mutant": a 50,000 ruble fine ($1,230) and death by firing squad.

The cartoon -- a 3 1/2-minute video that at one point depicts Filatova topless in positions similar to those in pictures she had once posted to her now deleted VKontakte profile -- has "disrupted my sleep and weakened me," says the alleged complaint. 

Although news of the order has spread in Ukrainian and some Western media, the scanned document has only appeared on Luhansk Radar, a staunchly pro-Kyiv news site.

In its original publication, the site said a "police source" had handed the document over.

But the complaint's appendix may tilt slightly into the realm of political satire: It includes both photos taken from social media and the screenshots from the offending cartoon.

Filatova herself has not commented, but according to the Moscow-based Slon.ru, a press spokesperson for the "Luhansk People's Republic" denied that she has ever served as culture minister. 

Karpa, for her part, appears to be taking the alleged threat in stride. 

"Oy, I'm scared-scared-scared)))" the Kyiv-based artist wrote, with apparent sarcasm, on Facebook. 

She also promised a sequel. 


-- Glenn Kates

The Week Ahead: October 13-19

96235 01/01/1972 Reproduction of "Writer Lermontov" by Pavel Bunin. RIA Novosti / RIA Novosti

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 13:
Bosnia-Herzegovina: International election observers hold press conference on the results of the October 12 general elections in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
China/Russia: Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang visits Moscow (to October 14).
EU: European Parliament's Subcommittee on Human Rights meet in Brussels to discuss Iraq, Syria, and other human rights issues.
Russia/Azerbaijan: Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu visits Baku.
TUESDAY, October 14:
UK: The Man Booker Prize winner announced in London.
UK/GeorgiaChatham House in London hosts a discussion titled "Abkhazia: Developments in the Domestic and Regional Context."
WEDNESDAY, October 15:
Iran: Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry hold trilateral talks in Vienna over Tehran’s nuclear energy program.

Iran: London hosts the Europe-Iran Business Forum (to October 16).

China/Italy: Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang visits Rome and Milan (to October 17).
Russia: Russian writer and poet Mikhail Lermontov's 200th birthday anniversary.
THURSDAY, October 16:
EU: European Parliament's 2014 Sakharov Prize winner announced in Brussels.
GlobalWorld Food Day.
Italy: Milan hosts the 10th Asia-Europe Meeting Summit (to October 17).

Russia/Serbia: Russian President Vladimir Putin visits Belgrade.
U.S./AfghanistanThe U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP) in Washington hosts a discussion titled "The Influence of Social Media and New Technologies in Afghanistan's Democracy."
FRIDAY, October 17:
SATURDAY, October 18:
Azerbaijan: Independence Day.

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

Video Lukashenka Says 'We Can't Be Dicing Up' Europe's Borders Again

It seems Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka (right) is not too happy with the policies of his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin (right) vis-a-vis Ukraine. (file photo)

Even after decades of making the most eccentric statements, Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka can still impress.

In an interview with Kazakhstan's 16/12 Internet television channel posted on October 5, he flatly condemned Russia's bid to redraw international borders in Europe.

Lukashenka argued that, once the process of rearranging borders according to historical claims begins, there is no end to it -- and Russia might end up disappearing if the borders of the medieval Mongol-Tatar Yoke are revived.

"Then we would have to give to Mongolia and Kazakhstan and someone else practically all the territory of Russia and Western Europe and Eastern Europe -- except for Belarus," he said. "They [the Mongols] made it to us somehow but they didn't bother us. So what is the point of returning to what was in the past? We can't be dicing up the borders again. "

He added that Europe's current borders are reinforced by numerous international agreements, which cannot be ignored and should not be nullified. 

WATCH: Lukashenka's Slams Russia's Ukraine Policy (In Russian)


Although he was speaking mostly of the current conflict between Kyiv and pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine and Russia's annexation of the Ukrainian Black Sea peninsula of Crimea in March, his comments are equally applicable to Russia's recognition of the breakaway Georgian regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and Russia's support of the separatist region of Transdniester in Moldova.

Lukashenka's outspoken position -- and his reference to Kazakhstan -- is all the more surprising because Belarus and Kazakhstan are pushing ahead with the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) project, which remains the centerpiece of Russian President Vladimir Putin's foreign policy. 

The three presidents are expected to meet in Minsk on October 10 to exchange ratification documents for the EEU Treaty, which will come into effect on January 1, 2015.

But Russia's policies in Ukraine have clearly alarmed former Soviet countries, including staunch allies Belarus and Kazakhstan. 

During a question-and-answer session in August, Putin set off alarm bells in Astana by arguing that "the Kazakhs never had their own state" and that modern Kazakhstan was "created" by Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev.

-- Robert Coalson

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.

Follow Me on Pinterest

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.

Follow Me on Pinterest

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

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 transmission+rferl.org

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