Friday, January 30, 2015

Communications / The Rundown

The Rundown -- December 23

RFE/RL Video Roundup - Dec. 22i
December 22, 2014
Pakistan launches a new campaign against polio, Kyrgyz activists support joining the Eurasian Economic Union, Belgrade teachers protest against planned pay cuts, plus more stories from Pakistan and Macedonia.
RFE/RL Video Roundup - Dec. 22
# In letter to "Washington Post," Azerbaijan diplomat compares outrage over Khadija Ismayilova detention to current protests in the United States
# Kudrin warns of "full-fledged crisis" in Russia
# Russia under Putin in charts
# Why iPhones now cost $1,000 in Russia
# Peace talks to be held in Minsk on December 24 and 26
# Ukraine threatens to cut off power to rebel-held regions if usage not curbed
# Russia's top allies forge ties with Ukraine
# Why Ukraine's IDPs have given up hope of returning home
Eastern Europe
# Belarus enjoys bonanza amid Russia-West tensions
# Who pays the price for informal counterinsurgency
# Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
# "Brave New Turkey" - Andrew Finkel, "New York Times" 
# Erdogan says birth control is "treason"
# Iran talks up global oil conspiracies
# Can the West "get Afghanistan right?"
# Expat era fades away from life in Kabul
# Pakistan makes arrests in Peshawar attacks; Courts halt executions of seven militants
# Pakistan militants lose drug monopoly
Central Asia
# Kazakhstan says it's prepared for oil as low as $40 a barrel
# How will Baku handle the oil price slide
# Malta's "shady deal" with Azerbaijan
Of Interest
# In 2014, an epidemic of false video footage

The Rundown -- December 22

RFE/RL in the Media
# "Moscow Times" cites RFE/RL reporting on Lesin investigation (site currently down) 
# "Jerusalem Post" on Khadija Ismayilova's arrest and the dilemma for Israel
# "Guardian" lists Azerbaijan political prisoners, including Ismayilova
# BBC World Service fears losing information war to Russia 
# Facebook declines comment on pulling Navalny protest page in Russia
# "Washington Post's" Putin year-ender
European tourism hotspots suffer with Russians staying home
# In meetings with OPEC, Russia refused to cut oil production itself
# In Kyiv, Lukashenka promises to help
# Peace talks stalled as violence resumes
Eastern Europe
# Moldovan migrants denied re-entry to Russia
# "Russia Growls Across the Border as Lithuania Readies for Euro" - Alistair Scrutton and Andrius Sytas, Reuters
# Belarus blocks access to independent news sites
# Western journalist who just spent 10 days with IS says group is popular
# IS reportedly executed 100 of its own fighters who tried to flee Raqqa
# Iraq TV show makes "terrorists" confront victims
# Documentary: The mothers of jihadists
# Iran says Cuba thaw proves sanctions are "useless"
# Assad tells top Iranian official he supports local truces
# Iran's support for Syria tested by oil price drop
# Some Guantanamo Bay detainees returned to Afghanistan
# Taliban publicize training camp in northern Afghanistan
# The rise of Maulana Fazlullah, the man who ordered the Peshawar attacks
Central Asia
# Uzbekistan holds "vote"
# Nazarbayev's grandson named deputy mayor of Astana
# "Turkmenistan's Climate of Fear Silences its People" - Abdujalil Abdurasulov, BBC

The Rundown -- December 19

RFE/RL Video Roundup - Dec. 18i
December 18, 2014
Peshawar mourns after the Taliban's school attack, Muscovites rush to the stores as the ruble drops, a political prisoner is released in Belarus, plus stories from Afghanistan, Serbia, and Armenia.
RFE/RL Video Roundup - Dec. 18
RFE/RL in the Media
# Luke Johnson on the Bill Press Show (1:39)
# Brian Whitmore on Monocle (6:30)
Yahoo uses RFE/RL Radio Mashaal video from memorial at site of Peshawar school attack
# "Putin Isn't Worried. You Should Be."- Leonid Bershidsky, Bloomberg 
# Why Putin's quote about bears is important for understanding today's Russia
# Lavrov gets four Pinocchios from "Washington Post"
Well known Russian troll apparently banned from Twitter
# Some separatist supporters fear Moscow is abandoning them
# Ukrainian journalists concerned over new "ministry of truth
Eastern Europe
# Lukashenka demands trade with Russia be in dollars and Euros
# U.S. says three top IS leaders killed in air strikes
# Unreleased report outlines "radically revised" strategy for peace in Syria
# "A United Iraq Is Pushing ISIS Back" - Haider Al-Abadi, "Wall Street Journal" 
# UN approves measure targeting Iran, Syria and North Korea
# Iran unveils memorial honoring Jewish "martyrs" 
# "Castro, Cuba, Obama—and Iran" - Elliott Abrams, "Weekly Standard" 
# Afghanistan's new millionaires
# Will Peshawar attack spur cooperation between Afghanistan and Pakistan?
# Taliban had prepared list of boys to kill in Peshawar school; told to kill soldiers after massacring pupils
# Mumbai attacks mastermind allowed bail in Pakistan; prosecutor appeals
Central Asia
# Uzbekistan preparing for "rubberstamp" vote
# Kyrgyzstan's new anti-gay law is even "worse than Russia's"
# Retiring congressman already negotiating lobbying deal with Azerbaijan

The Rundown -- December 18

RFE/RL Video Roundup - Dec. 17i
December 17, 2014
Funerals for the victims of a Taliban attack in Pakistan, an Eastern European summit in Serbia, and a protest against the destruction of cultural heritage in Georgia, plus stories from Macedonia and Iraq.
RFE/RL Video Roundup - Dec. 17
RFE/RL in the Media
# Read Daud Khattak in Foreign Policy on the Pakistan Taliban's desperate act
Yahoo uses RFE/RL Radio Mashaal video from Peshawar on the day after
# "Washington Times" cites RFE/RL report on Russian TV's racist advice for New Year's
# Behind the scenes in February, Putin advisors said an eastern Ukraine adventure was affordable -- they may have been wrong
# "How Crimea Crashed the Russian Economy" - Anna Nemtsova, Daily Beast
# Leon Bershidsky: Recent Russian actions in Scandinavia about Arctic, not Ukraine 
# "Will the Real Russia Please Stand Up?" - Michael Kofman, Reuters
# Why nothing is working right now
# With Russia in economic crisis at home, questions over what that means for Ukraine
# Ukraine military says separatists resume attacks in eastern Ukraine
# Ukraine bans News Year's Eve fireworks out of respect for east
# Lukashenka says Russian behavior arouses "suspicion"
# Some 97 percent of all December air strikes in Iraq were carried out by U.S.
# IS murders 150 women for refusing to marry, according to Iraq's Human Rights Ministry
# Iraq says it could revise oil supply plans
# What the unmasking of an IS troll tells us about the Syrian jihad's message around the world 
# Is Obama's Cuba announcement a hint of things to come with Iran?; Khamenei opposes normalization
# Iran says it requested extradition of Sydney gunman 14 years ago
# What is behind Hamas-Iran rapprochement?
# Drone strike in Afghanistan kills four Pakistani Taliban
# Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan targeting children of the elite
# The Pakistani Taliban is weakening
# "Pakistan’s Dance With Terrorists Just Backfired" - Chris Allbritton, Daily Beast
# "Afghanistan: The Making of a Narco State" - Matthieu Aikins, "Rolling Stone" 
Central Asia
# Kazakhs react to video of their countrymen fighting with IS militants being used as “cannon fodder” 
Of Interest

The Rundown -- December 17

RFE/RL Video Roundup - Dec. 16i
December 16, 2014
Taliban gunmen take over a school in Peshawar in one of Pakistan's worst attacks; Kazakhs mourn the victims of suppressed protests; Georgia investigates claims of abuse in prison; and Afghanistan moves ahead with plans for an international railway.
RFE/RL Video Roundup - December 16
RFE/RL in the Media
# "New Yorker" and "Atlantic" quote RFE/RL Radio Mashaal reporting from scene of Pakistan attack; ViceFox and Yahoo use video
Yahoo uses RFE/RL Russian Service interviews from streets of Moscow
International Business Times cites RFE/RL reporting on Ukraine crisis
# RFE/RL Belarusian Service cited in BBC for draft Gandalf campaign
Buzzfeed ruble meme breakdown uses cartoon from RFE/RL Ukrainian Service
# Most deadly terror attack in Pakistan's history leaves 145 dead
# "The real reasons" for the attack
# Before attack, security situation had improved slightly compared to other years
# Who are the Pakistani Taliban?
# Afghan Taliban condemns
# "U.S. May Get Dragged Into Pakistan’s New War" - Josh Rogin and Eli Lake, Bloomberg View
# Ruble continues rise despite interest rate increase
# Now people are starting to panic; "a disaster"; Apple pauses online sales
# Central Bank chief says Russians should get used to a new way of life
# How the ruble collapse could shift power in Russia
# Lavrov says degree of autonomy for Donetsk and Luhansk should be determined by Ukrainians
# Amnesty: Humanitarian situation in eastern Ukraine sliding toward disaster
Obama to sign Ukraine support bill, which includes new Russia sanctions
Eastern Europe
# Lukashenka asks Russia to "clarify" some things
# Iraqi government stops payment of "ghost soldiers"
# IS releases photos of mass execution of Sunni tribal fighters
# IS destroys at least six border control stations on Jordan-Iraq border
# IS selling antiquities to Western collectors 
# EU looking to Iran and Russia to help end Syrian civil war
# Saudi Arabia reportedly demands Hamas end rapprochement with Iran
Central Asia
# Ruble breakdown hurting remittance economy of Russia's neighbors
# "Kazakhstan’s Illusion of Progress" - Belen Fernandez, Al Jazeera 
# Once ignored, Kosovo exits sports limbo

The Rundown -- December 16

RFE/RL Video Roundup - Dec. 15i
December 15, 2014
Disgruntled EXPO workers clash with police in Kazakhstan, an anti-polio drive resumes following a Taliban attack in Pakistan, a show seeks UNESCO status for rugs in Moldova, plus stories from Bosnia and Afghanistan (RFE/RL)
RFE/RL Video Roundup - December 15
RFE/RL in the Media
Reporters Without Borders launches petition to free Khadija Ismayilova 
# BBG Governor Matthew Armstrong on RFE/RL's role in countering Russia's "war on information"
# Russian ruble falls to new low; Central Bank raises interest rate to 17 percent
# Why the ruble fell as oil rose (Bitcoin has had a worse year, at least)
# Russia depleting currency reserves rather quickly
# The fraudulent "hawkish" think tank that may be a Russian set-up 
# Lavrov calls for autonomy for Donbas within eastern Ukraine
# UN Report: Human rights abuses in eastern Ukraine are rampant
# "Ukraine's Real Crisis: A Demographics and Health Time Bomb" - Judy Twigg Wayne Merry, National Interest
# "Ukraine Underplays Role of Far Right" - David Stern, BBC 
Eastern Europe
# "Moldova: EU Integration at All Costs" - Vladimir Soloviev, Institute of Modern Russia
China may join operations against IS; while 300 Chinese reportedly fighting on IS side
# Iraq's new PM challenged with forming common front against IS
# Sunni tribes who fight against IS face heavy toll
# Arrests of journalists in Turkey a new "witch hunt"; Erdogan tells EU to mind its own business
# Paris and Washington sparing behind the scenes on Iran nuclear deal
# Is Iran already cheating?
# Iranian support seen as crucial for Yemen's Houthis
# Iran nuclear talks resume in Geneva
Crocodiles suffer from Taliban attacks on Sufi shrines
# 87-year-old American woman and her "passion for conserving Afghanistan's heritage"
# Khan leads Lahore protests
Central Asia
# RT on Kazakhstan's "sleepy hollow"
# Kazakhstan FM asks for spot on UNSC
# "Yes, Uzbekistan Is Putin’s Friend" - Paolo Sorbello, "Diplomat"
# Li to visit Serbia
# Video: Tito's "blue train" open for visitors
Of Interest
# Only five white rhinos left and one is in the Czech Republic
# Pageviews are nothing without a product

The Rundown -- December 15


RFE/RL in the Media
# The Bureau of Investigative Journalism cites Sailab Mehsud's reporting for Gandhara on the Taliban in North Waziristan
Haaretz on Khadija Ismayilova's detention and what it may mean for Israel's relations with Azerbaijan 
# "Moscow Times" cites RFE/RL reporting on methadone clinics in Crimea
# Google engineering most recent tech outfit to be leaving Russia
# Russian Defense Ministry denies its plane nearly collided with a Swedish passenger jet
# Moscow reacts angrily to threat of new U.S. sanctions
# The scenarios where Russia might use a nuclear weapon
# "Russia’s Ideology: There Is No Truth" - Peter Pomerantsev, "New York Times"
# Poroshenko grants Ukrainian citizenship to Belarusian Neo-Nazi
Hacked Russian Interior Ministry files appear to show involvement in eastern Ukraine
# Ukraine has first casualty free day in seven months
# Will the West come to Ukraine's aid in financial shortfall?
# The man behind IS' most popular Twitter account after his arrest; IS supporters demand his release
Record numbers of Shi'a pilgrims flock to Iraq’s Karbala for Arbaeen
# Turkish police raid news outlets tied to Gulen, arrest 23
# The girl who ran to Syria to marry a militant and the mother who brought her back
# FBI warns that Iran hackers may target U.S. defense, energy firms
# Iran extends visas for 450,000 Afghan refugees
# Why Iran couldn't secretly build a bomb
# An especially deadly day in Afghanistan
# Vast swaths of southern Afghanistan already in Taliban hands
# How the Taliban groom child suicide bombers
Central Asia
# China and Kazakhstan sign $14 billion in deals
Of Interest
# Instagram may be making a run at Twitter in news

The Rundown -- December 12

RFE/RL Video Roundup - Dec. 11i
December 11, 2014
A suicide bomber kills soldiers in Kabul, Kadyrov supporters egg activists in Russia, drug smugglers arrested in Afghanistan, plus stories from Kyrgyzstan and Bosnia-Herzegovina,
RFE/RL Video Roundup -- Dec. 11
RFE/RL in the Media
Buzzfeed on the Khadija Ismayilova detention and why it may mean the "end of free speech" in Azerbaijan 
# "Washington Post" editorial on Ismayilova
# Ismayilova lawyer disbarred 
# Crimean de facto prime minister comes with Putin to India
# Putin's friends still reaping billions, but perhaps causing tension outside his circle
# Russia raises interest rate to 10.5 percent; is Russia's economic crisis being overstated?
# Moscow "shocked" by CIA torture report
# "A New Reformist Offensive in Ukraine" - Anders Aslund, "Kyiv Post" 
# "The Corrupt Cops of Rebel-Held East Ukraine" - Kristina Jovanovski, Daily Beast
# How a 29-year-old Ukrainian made a billion on Russian gas
# Christian Caryl: The biggest threat to Ukraine is corruption, not Putin
Eastern Europe
# Baghdad presses Hagel for greater military support
# "Guardian" long read: "ISIS: The Inside Story
# IS used predatory tactics to convince American teens to join
# TV channel says most popular IS Twitter account is run by an Indian executive
# Iran reporting: The "risks, rewards and mysteries
# Is Iran stalling for time in nuclear negotiations?
# Detention of "Washington Post" reporter taking "devastating toll" on him
# U.S. closes its final detention center in Afghanistan 
# "Afghanistan Uncertainties" - Geoffrey Norman, "National Review" 
# Malala plans to return to Pakistan next year
# FBI investigation into ex-US diplomat casts cloud over relations with Pakistan
Central Asia
# Rock star takes trip to Uzbekistan and doesn't perform at party
# 20th Century Fox reportedly to open Kazakhstan office

The Rundown -- December 11

RFE/RL Video Roundup - Dec. 10i
December 10, 2014
Shi'ite pilgrims in Iraq, rallies in Georgia and Moldova for jailed Azerbaijani journalists, an antigovernment march in Armenia, plus stories from Pakistan and Iraq.
RFE/RL Video Roundup - Dec. 10
RFE/RL in the Media
# Abubakar Siddique quoted in "New Yorker" piece about drones in Pakistan 
# Read Arzu Geybullayeva in Global Voices on Azerbaijan's cracking image 
# Gorbachev calls for U.S.-Russia summit
# Russia's creeping descent into Internet censorship; new filtering system coming
# "The Myth of the Russian Oligarchs" - Masha Gessen, "New York Times" 
# "Why Moscow Should Worry about Terrorism" - Ilan Berman, "Foreign Affairs" 
# IMF warns Ukraine faces financial collapse without $15 billion bailout
# Reuters finds Chechens fighting among east Ukraine separatists 
# Russian general says small military mission is in eastern Ukraine at Kyiv's request
# Families living in Donetsk cellars feel they've been abandoned by Kyiv
# IS trying to sell body of James Foley for $1 million
# IS fighting creating three separate armies in Iraq
Little surprise in Iraq over Senate report on CIA interrogations
# Rohani calls drop in oil prices "treachery
# A rare animal shelter in Tehran
# "Washington Post" suggests revised timetable for troop drawdown in Afghanistan
# "Seven Ways Afghanistan is a Total Mess" - AJ Vicens, "Mother Jones"
# Afghanistan's Bruce Lee "reincarnation" becomes Web hit
# The complicated ties between Afghanistan, Pakistan and the U.S. 
# "China's Big Plans for Pakistan" - Gordon Chang, "National Interest"
Central Asia
# Kazakhstan's debt comeback spoiled by drop in oil and Russia sanctions
# EU turns to Azerbaijan for gas
# Russia's lower house approves Armenia's entry into Eurasian Union
# IOC grants full Olympic recognition to Kosovo
Of Interest

The Rundown -- December 10

RFE/RL Video Roundup - Dec. 9i
December 09, 2014
A roadside bomb blows up a police station in Pakistan, unpaid workers protest in Armenia, and an anticorruption conference in Afghanistan, plus stories from Kyrgyzstan and Pakistan. (RFE/RL)
RFE/RL Video Roundup - Dec. 9
RFE/RL in the Media
# Margarita Simonyan, in RT editorial, mistakes John O'Sullivan for current RFE/RL executive editor (as, apparently, does the print version of the "Spectator")
# Social media campaign to free Khadija Ismayilova covered by Al Jazeera and Reuters
# Read Zarangez Navruzshoh in "Guardian" on Tajikistan turning to Hollywood to teach population English 
# "Time" says Putin cut Ukraine criticism from speech ahead of peace talks 
# A dispatch from Grozny
# Russian oligarch buys James Watson's Nobel prize for $4.7 million, says he will return it to him
# "Is Russia 2015 Venezuela 1983?" - Paul Krugman, "New York Times" 
Bomb explosion at Odesa army-support organization 
# "Day of silence" largely observed 
# Ukraine's border wall with Russia will cost over $500 million
Eastern Europe
# Seven arrested on suspicion of uranium smuggling in Moldova 
# Belarusian journalist Alesin could face 15 years in prison
# IS beheading video used equipment costing $200,000 and may have taken six hours to film 
# How relatively liberal Raqqa became an IS bastion
# IS posts photos apparently showing man accused of "sodomy" being thrown off roof
# Iraq pushes halting advance against IS 
# Rohani lashes out at Revolutionary Guard
# Video catches abuse of Afghans in Iran
# Hamas' envoy to Iran is now based in Turkey
# Afghanistan vets trying to cultivate peace through Saffron 
# In Kandahar, some made rich by U.S. presence now face uncertain future
# Another anti-polio worker killed in Pakistan
Central Asia
# Russia, Uzbekistan agree on $890 million debt settlement 
# Russia to increase oil transit to China through Kazakhstan 
Of Interest

The Rundown -- December 9

RFE/RL Video Roundup - Dec. 8i
December 08, 2014
The gruesome aftermath of a Taliban attack on a police station in Afghanistan, angry chemical workers march on the main government building in Armenia, an imprisoned opposition politician loses a court battle in Kazakhstan, plus stories from Georgia and Pakistan. (RFE/RL)
RFE/RL Video Roundup - Dec. 8
RFE/RL in the Media
CNN and Reuters use RFE/RL Afghan Service video of aftermath of Taliban attack
# Joanna Paraszczuk, author of "Under the Black Flag" blog, interviewed by Syria Direct
# "Guardian" and "Spiegel" cover Khadija Ismayilova detention
# Read Golnaz Esfandiari in Informed Comment on Iranian unwed couples living together 
# Russia looking for a way out of crisis behind the scenes?
# Russia's strategy for undermining West "working"; on Moscow's links with Europe's right
# The downfall of the ruble in one chart
# "Novaya Gazeta" claims Moscow trying to convince separatists to accept autonomy within Ukraine
# Courtney Weaver explores Ukraine's separatist leadership
Eastern Europe
# Prominent journalist detained in Belarus
# "Moldova's Woes Make It Fair Game for Russia" - William Hill, "Moscow Times"
# Iraqi officials want to retake Mosul this winter, despite U.S. warnings
# Gulf states set to form NATO-inspired military alliance
# IS fighters killing "faster than statisticians can count
# "ISIS Has a Message. Do We?" - Jamie Dettmer, Daily Beast
# U.S. privately accuses Iran of breaking sanctions
# Sanctions monitors say photos of Soleimani in Iraq defy travel ban
Central Asia
# Kazakhstan involved in serious PPP bid for ring road in Almaty
# Kazakhs buying rubles for bargain-shopping along Russian border; but Tenge crunched
# Combat mission ends after 13 years
# Pakistan schools in crisis
# A Pakistani slave's path to freedom
Of Interest
# Release of CIA torture report expected today

The Rundown -- December 8

Khadija Ismayilova in Prague on May 30, 2013.

RFE/RL in the Media
# Detention on Friday of Khadija Ismayilova covered in "New York Times," "USA Today," Foreign PolicyAPFrance 24CPJAmnesty and others 
Global Voices cites RFE/RL Tajik video of women being humiliated for "dishonoring" country in Russia
# In "Guardian" profile, soldier who executed Ceausescu said he learned about revolution from RFE/RL 
# Daisy Sindelar's report about LRAD quoted in Raw Story report about Eric Garner protests 
# Merkel: Russia "punishing" countries for leaning towards Europe
# "Next: Russia Unplugged" - Maxim Trudolyubov, "New York Times" 
# After ruble fall, "traditional Russian fatalism" back in force
# "Crafting a Win-Win-Win for Russia, Ukraine and the West" - Michael O'Hanlon and Jeremy Shapiro, "Washington Post" 
# Russian teens sneak onto Saint Petersburg international airport runway and take photos on planes
# Poroshenko says new Minsk talks may take place on Tuesday
# The controversial new Radical Party MP
Eastern Europe
# On gender equality in Belarus
# "A Turkish City on the Frontier of Syria’s War" - Robin Wright, "New Yorker" 
# Winter brings fresh threat to refugees fleeing IS
# Israel "sends warning to Assad, Russia and Iran" with Damascus airstrikes 
# Canadian IS fighter calls for more attacks in Canada 
# "Washington Post" reporter charged in Iran after four months in detention
# Methamphetamine use soaring 
# Iran confirms airstrikes against IS in Iraq
# Afghan students find inspiration in IS success 
# "New York Times" editorial on "backsliding in Afghanistan
# Afghan Taliban still use old American textbooks
# Pakistan claims it killed NYC bomb plotter in raid

The Rundown -- December 5

RFE/RL Video Roundup - Dec. 4i
December 04, 2014
Low-paid Pakistani workers demand salary hikes, furloughed workers in Armenia protest for back pay, a pilot recycling program in Kyrgyzstan -- plus more stories from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
RFE/RL Video Roundup - Dec. 4
RFE/RL in the Media
# Report - Breakout Capacity: Iran in the Rouhani Era World Politics Review,
# A nuclear deal with Iran will require the West to reevaluate its presumptions, WP
# Iran against IS: My enemy's enemy?, DW
# Georgia and Russia: Dreams deferred, Economist
Eastern Europe
# Moldova’s election: Slouching towards Europe, Economist
# Moldova Is Next Battleground for Russia and EU, MT
Of Interest

The Rundown -- December 4

RFE/RL Video Roundup - Dec. 3i
December 03, 2014
State regulators take steps to close Russia's last independent regional TV broadcaster, Armenians mock lawmakers over a treaty to join a Russian-led trade bloc, tree planting day in Macedonia -- plus stories about international disabilities day in Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, and Serbia.
RFE/RL Video Roundup - Dec. 3
RFE/RL in the Media
# In "Wall Street Journal," Jeffrey Gedmin says RFE/RL and VOA "doing good work, but suffer from the Obama administration’s lack of vision and strategy"
YahooNews uses RFE/RL Ukrainian Service video of battle in eastern Ukraine
# Security forces battle militants in downtown Grozny -- at least five police officers dead 
# Kalashnikov relaunching the Kalashnikov
# Audience of 12-34 year-olds on VKontakte now surpasses any television channel in Russia
# Russian prostitutes said to consider pegging prices to dollar, due to tumbling ruble
# "Russia Is Using Extortion in the Arctic" - Mark Galeotti, "Moscow Times"
# At least 50 patients have died at one psychiatric hospital in eastern Ukraine since fighting began
# An interview with Right Sector's Jewish deputy
Eastern Europe
# Russia alleges "gross violations" in Moldova election
# In interview Assad floats idea of a military alliance with the U.S. against IS
# Iraq says woman detained in Lebanon is not Baghdadi's wife
# U.S. says IS setting up Libya training camps
# From Egypt pro-democracy advocate to IS fighter
# Iran using U.S.-made jets to bomb IS targets
# Iran shifts from proxy warfare to outright military support
# Iran extends imprisonment of "Washington Post" reporter
# New report says Iran hackers took control of entire airport security systems
# Can Western governments convince at home that commitment to Afghanistan is necessary? 
# "What the US Owes Afghanistan" - Andrea Prasow, Human Rights Watch 
# Pop singer-turned-Imam in Pakistan accused of blasphemy
# "The Pakistani Origins of the Israeli State" - Ishaan Tharoor, "Washington Post"
Of Interest

The Rundown -- December 3

RFE/RL Video Roundup - Dec. 2i
December 02, 2014
Protesters demand justice in Ukraine, Pakistani colleges struck by political violence, helping the disabled in Tajikistan, and a new press law in Afghanistan.
RFE/RL Video Roundup - December 2
RFE/RL in the Media
# Robert Coalson analysis of Moldovan elections cited in "New York Times
# RFE/RL reporting on foreign national appointed to Ukraine government cited in International Business Times 
Al Monitor cites RFE/RL infographic on foreign fighters in Iraq and Syria
# "Washington Times" cites RFE/RL's "Under the Black Flag" blog for reporting on Russia banning IS analysis sites 
# "Toronto Star" profiles RFE/RL Ukrainian Service reporter 
# Read Golnaz Esfandiari in Informed Comment on Khamenei’s call for an end to domestic criticism of nuclear talks
# Moscow admits Russia will fall into recession next year; Putin's "new reality"
# Finland and Russia deepen energy ties
# Pavel Durov's strange exile
# Ukrainian billionaire Firtash, wanted by the U.S., but advising Britain
# Ukraine creates its own "ministry of truth
# Video shows rockets being launched next to apartment complex in Donetsk
# Change of leadership in Crimea means property grab
# Wife of IS leader reportedly captured in Lebanon; fell in love with Baghdadi online
# Iraqi government and Kurds reach deal to share oil revenue
# "LOL": Teen IS wife blogs about death of husband
# The disgruntled French IS jihadis 
# "ISIS: What the US Doesn’t Understand" - Ahmed Rashid, "New York Review of Books" 
# Iran carries out air strikes on IS targets in Iraq
# Iran says documents on alleged atom bomb research are full of mistakes
# Report says cyber-attacks originated inside Iran
# After her family is killed, South African doctor continues work at hospital in Afghanistan
# "Afghanistan Cannot Be Left to Anarchy" - Con Coughlin, "Telegraph" 
# Former Ohio state official, facing 15 years in prison in the U.S., is hiding in Pakistan
# Life in Pakistan's tribal frontier
Central Asia
# Central Asian migrants feel the pain of Russian economic downturn
Of Interest
# WhatsApp competitor Telegraph (created by Durov) offers $300,000 for cracking its encryption

The Rundown -- December 2

RFE/RL Video Roundup - Dec. 1i
December 01, 2014
Pro-European Union politicians edge ahead of pro-Russian parties in Moldova's elections, Armenians protest against joining a Russian-led trade bloc, allegations of government corruption and cronyism in Russia's Irkutsk Region -- plus stories from Kyrgyzstan, Serbia, and Pakistan.
RFE/RL Video Roundup - December 1
RFE/RL in the Media
Czech TV uses RFE/RL Tajik Service footage of meeting between Czech and Tajik presidents 
# Russia says there will be no South Stream pipeline
# Amid worst day for Ruble since 1998 Kudrin says decline will continue for two years
# The advancing "chill" of the new Cold War
# The lobbyists being hired to fight Russia sanctions in Washington
# Russian and Ukrainian officials agree to truce around Donetsk airport
# Haunting aerial drone footage of Chernobyl 
# East Ukraine schools turn to web for education
Eastern Europe
# After close vote, Moldova officials vow to push Europe ties
# Edward Lucas becomes the world's first "e resident"
# Egypt thwarts IS bid to commandeer ship and attack Israel
# Iraq has been paying 50,000 "ghost soldiers"
# Brookings profiles IS
Video: Targeting IS' black market oil trade
# Is coalition providing air support for Iran's militias?
# Iran reportedly to turn uranium into reactor fuel under extended deal
# Why Sudan is embracing Iran
# Situation deteriorating steadily in Afghanistan
# International aid agencies call for temporary exit from Afghanistan
# Khan threatens to "shut down" Pakistan
Investigation into claims Islamic leaders used 1 million in public money for Pakistan school
Central Asia
# Uzbekistan: "The Tyranny You Haven't Heard Of" - Fred Hiatt, "Washington Post"
# In depth look at Russian soft power in the Balkans
Of Interest
# Krugman blames Europe's economic problems on Germany 
# Encryption is becoming the default

The Rundown -- December 1

Voters head to the polls in Moldova.

RFE/RL in the Media
# RFE/RL Azerbaijani Service reporter briefly detained and questioned by police 
# "Jerusalem Post" quotes piece by Golnaz Esfandiari about protests in Iran
Sputnik cites RFE/RL's "Under the Black Flag" blog
BBC cites the RFE/RL Azerbaijani Service Facebook page in story on mascots for the European Games 
# 26 years ago the Soviet Union stopped jamming RFE/RL broadcasts for the first time in 30 years, according to UPI
# Pro-Russian parties edge ahead in vote, with European integration on the line
Thousands protest against healthcare cuts
# Picasso painting from Hermitage allegedly offered as kickback to secure Russia World Cup bid
# Anne Applebaum reviews "Putin’s Kleptocracy: Who Owns Russia?
# "Russia Is Losing the Battle Against HIV" - Cesar Chelala, "Moscow Times" 
# "Spiegel" timeline on how the "EU lost Russia over Ukraine"
# Russia sends another "aid convoy" to Ukraine
# The daily struggles of Donetsk residents
Raqqa is the new target for coalition airstrikes; a civilian "nightmare"
# IS creating junk food economy with demand for Snickers, Pringles and Red Bull
# Gulf states launch joint command to counter IS, Iran
# Khamenei says armed forces will build up 'irrespective' of diplomacy
# "Guardian" on Iran negotiations: They may doomed, but it's the best chance for a peaceful resolution
# "It's always Movember" in Iran 
# "America, Don't Give Up on Afghanistan" - Paul D. Miller, "New Republic" 
# "The Taliban's Psychiatrist" - Tahir Qadiry, BBC 
# Kabul police chief quits after South African family dies in Taliban attack 
# Pakistan and Iran's border stress
Of Interest
# "New Yorker" profiles Angela Merkel

The Rundown -- November 26

RFE/RL Video Roundup - Nov. 25i
November 25, 2014
Soldiers buried in Armenia, fraud charges shut down a bank in Afghanistan, activists occupy an old theater in Serbia, plus stories from Pakistan, Georgia, and Moldova.
RFE/RL Video Roundup - Nov. 25
RFE/RL in the Media
# A story of an Afghan woman who told RFE/RL how she murdered between 10 and 25 Taliban militants...
# mentions RFE/RL in a report on Islamic State's battle for Kobani
# The Moscow Times cites RFE/RL in it's article about Russian journalists and activist who seek asylum in West
# BBC gives profile of the Chech Republic in which it mentiones relocation of  RFE/RL from Munich to Prague.
# reprints Serhiy Drachuk's report on violence against women in Ukraine and war in Donbas
# Iran talks: Hardliners and the shifting deadline - Massoumeh Torfeh, Al-Jazeera
# Iran's nuclear programme: Keep on talking, Economist
Iran’s Supreme Leader Dismisses Western Pressure on Nuclear Issue, NYT
# Iran: Diplomacy Infinitum, New Yorker
Now what on Iran? - Jennifer Rubin, WP
The Iran Nuke Extension Is a Death Sentence - Jeffrey Lewis, Foreign Policy
Eastern Europe
Of Interest

The Rundown -- November 25

RFE/RL Video Roundup - Nov. 24i
November 24, 2014
Nationwide rallies after a politician is assassinated in Pakistan, Syrian Kurds in Turkey monitor Kobani fighting, Syrian Kurdish women train to battle Islamic State fighters, plus stories from Tajikistan and Kazakhstan.
RFE/RL Video Roundup Nov. 24
RFE/RL in the Media
# White House fact sheet mentions RFE/RL's news programs and website devoted to events in Crimea
# Radek Sikorski comments a role of RFE/RL during the Cold War, Huffington Post
# Washington Post columnist Joe Davidson writes about the BBG's new contracting model
Iran nuclear talks deadline extended to end of June, BBC
The truth about beheadings - Ibrahim Al-Marashi, Al-Jazeera
# The Deeper Meaning of the Iran Nuclear Talks: ISIS, the Middle East and Beyond, National Interest
Iran nuclear talks extension raises risk of cataclysmic failure, Guardian
U.S. and Iran Put More Time On the Clock in Nuclear Talks, Foreign Policy
The Western Balkans Are Becoming Russia’s New Playground - Judy Dempsey,
# Serbia’s IMF deal: can Belgrade grasp the nettle? - Andrew MacDowall, FT
Eastern Europe
Russia's Project Moldova - Marc Champion, Bloomberg
# Informal education in Belarus: The Flying University and the European College of Liberal Arts,
# U.S. - Russian Relations: From Bad to Worse? Sergei Rogov and Sergei Karaganov explain why U.S.- Russian relations have reached a dangerous low point, Moscow Times
Russian radio station forced to impose social media rules, Telegraph
# Putin Youth: The Young Russians Who See the President as a Father, Newsweek
# Book Review: The True Russia in Book 'Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible', Moscow Times
# Why Russia and Japan Are Making Nice, The Diplomat
Should the U.S. Arm Ukraine’s Militias? - Jamie Dettmer,
Of Interest

The Rundown -- November 24

RFE/RL Video Roundup - Nov. 21i
November 21, 2014
Poles run from Warsaw to Kyiv to celebrate Ukraine's Maidan movement, Kurdish fighters bury a comrade killed in Kobani, and a bombing strikes a military convoy in Pakistan, plus stories from Moldova, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Georgia.
RFE/RL Video Roundup - November 21
RFE/RL in the Media
# Fact Sheet: U.S. Assistance to Ukraine,
# The Peoples Voice cites RFE/RL report "New Ukraine Coalition Agreed, Sets NATO as Priority"
Eastern Europe
The Costs of Exile. Leaders in countries of the former USSR are increasingly driving their best and brightest into emigration... Foreign Policy
Central Asia
Of Interest
# Report - Paying Taxes 2015, World Bank, PWC

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