Friday, May 22, 2015

Communications / The Rundown

The Rundown -- May 22

RFE/RL Video Roundup, May 21i
May 21, 2015
The EU begins a summit with six eastern countries in Latvia, Kyrgyzstan joins the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union, Azerbaijani workers tear down facades blamed for a deadly fire in Baku, and the European Rafting Championships kick off in Bosnia. (RFE/RL)
RFE/RL Video Roundup, May 21
RFE/RL in the Media
# House committee approves bill on consolidation of RFE/RL and other international broadcasting entities 
# Read Mark Baker and Merhat Sharipzhan in the Guardian on the mysterious mass deaths of saiga antelopes in Kazakhstan 
# Read Daud Khattak in Foreign Policy on the "blame game" in Pakistan 
# Merkel dashes Ukraine's EU membership hopes, says no to lifting visa restrictions
# Ukrainian lawmakers suspend military cooperation with Russia
# "Ukraine Makes Amnesia the Law of the Land" - Jochen Hellbeck, New Republic 
# Russia warns Google, Twitter and Facebook they will be blocked if they withhold blogger data
# Prosecutors leave trail of "death and destruction" at Crimean zoo
# What it's like to be hated online in Russia today
# Ukraine says it shot down two Russian drones
Eastern Europe
# "EU Can Win the Battle for Its Eastern Neighbors" - Vladislav Inozemtsev, Moscow Times 
Middle East
# Bin-Laden thought about setting up a recruitment office in Iran
# Changing Iraq fortunes put Obama legacy at risk
# Saddam's nephew reportedly killed in Iraq
# Iraq having increasing trouble controlling its 100,000 militiamen
Development and the battle for Afghanistan
# Months before raid, bin Laden considered leaving compound
# More than 100 charged in mob killing of Christian couple in Pakistan
Central Asia
# Russia and Tajikistan complete joint military drills on Afghan border
# Tajikistan closes Gulen-affiliated schools
# "Saving Macedonia" - Heather Grabbe and Goran Buldioski, Politico 
# In Georgia, increased interest in Eurasian Union amid disappointment in EU 
# HRW: EU leaders should insist on Azerbaijan prisoner releases at summit
Of Interest

The Rundown -- May 21

RFE/RL Video Roundup, May 20i
May 20, 2015
A warm welcome for the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Bosnia, a protest in Kosovo calls for the release of 21 Kosovar citizens being held after a recent gun battle in Macedonia, and workers building a highway in Georgia go on strike - saying the devaluation of their country's currency means they cannot live on their wages. (RFE/RL)
RFE/RL Video Roundup, May 20
RFE/RL in the Media
Guardian publishes Carl Schreck's piece on treatment of captured Russians in Ukraine
Moscow Times cites Rikard Jozwiak's interview with Donald Tusk
Haaretz cites RFE/RL's coverage of underage Chechen wedding
# Cisco may have altered sales records to avert Russia sanctions
# Russia threatens to ban Google, Twitter and Facebook over extremist content
# U.S. weighing punishments for Russian nuclear violations
# Russia really wants to win Eurovision, but everyone else want it to lose


# Poroshenko speaks to BBC about "real war" with Russia
# U.S. general in Kyiv "impressed" with Ukraine handling of Russian prisoners
Eastern Europe
Middle East
# IS fighters seize control of city and its ancient ruins 
# Khamenei rejects access to military sites
# U.S. and allies face dilemma after fall of Ramadi
# "The Real Problem in Iraq" - Dexter Filkins, New Yorker 
# The fight to save an ancient Buddhist city in Afghanistan
# Why the U.S. officially "believes" Pakistan’s bin Laden story
# Albania threatens to block Macedonia's NATO bid
Central Asia
EU statement on Uzbekistan makes no mention of Andijan tenth anniversary 
# Uzbekistan restricts dollar sales as black market rates soar
Of Interest

The Rundown -- May 20

RFE/RL Video Roundup - May 19i
May 19, 2015
A suicide bomber strikes in Kabul, a deadly fire breaks out in Baku, and Tajikistan hosts international military exercises, plus stories from Kazakhstan and Macedonia.
RFE/RL Video Roundup - May 19
RFE/RL in the Media
EuroNews uses RFE/RL Azerbaijani Service video of deadly fire in Baku
Daily Mail cites Carl Schreck's reporting on allegedly looted art
# Russia bans "undesirable" international organizations ahead of 2016 elections
# Russia is trying to make its own smartphone OS to compete with Apple and Android 
# Russia's richest man says impact of sanctions is waning 
# Kadyrov calls for WhatsApp ban for wives
# "Fascinating new research" on crime in Russia
# The Ukraine volunteers collecting soldiers' bodies
# Kerry helped free U.S. "spies" trapped in Ukraine
# Separatist commander says he is "ready for more deaths"
Eastern Europe
# Missing Moldova fortune raises fears of antisemitic attacks
Middle East
# Iraqi prime minister weakened even further by fall of Ramadi 
# How an American tourist lost his passport in Istanbul and was sucked into Syria's war
# Israel says Iran violated sanctions by buying aircraft
# Trial of Washington Post reporter imprisoned in Iran to start next week
# Aliyev takes "personal control" of investigation into Baku fire that killed 16
# Farkhunda mob death trial exposes Afghanistan justice failures
# Pakistan military says its spies will cooperate with Afghanistan
# Saudi Arabia may buy "off the shelf" nuclear weapon from Pakistan
Central Asia
# More than 10,000 Saiga antelopes in Kazakhstan have died in the past few weeks
# Burning buses cause anger in Tajikistan
Of Interest
# Tweets will now show up in Google search 
# NYT offering paid tour of Uzbekistan (but journalists can't get accreditation) 

The Rundown -- May 19

RFE/RL Video Roundup - May 18i
May 18, 2015
Protestors set up tent encampment demanding government steps down in Macedonia, people fleeing Islamic State militants in Ramadi find refuge at a holiday camp in Iraq, printing presses are in full swing ahead of landmark local elections in Pakistan, plus stories from Ukraine, Bosnia and Moldova. (RFE/RL)
RFE/RL Video Roundup - May 18
RFE/RL in the Media
# National Press Club to honor Khadija Ismayilova
# Ukraine to prosecute alleged Russian soldiers as terrorists; Russia says they were soldiers before they weren't (in Russian); "not active at time of arrest"
# Ukraine says Russia tried to kill captured Russian soldiers
# "Why Putin Is Afraid of Ukraine" - Chrystia Freeland, Newsweek
# "In Ukraine, Economic Ties to Russia Are Hard to Break" - James Marson, Wall Street Journal
# Russia facing punishment for leaving ice following World Championship
# RT’s interview on immigrant detention centers in UK faces inquiry
# Billionaire Russian businessman found dead outside UK home could have been poisoned
Eastern Europe
# Belarus city links Chagall to lost Jewish culture
Middle East
# Iran deputy oil minister says OPEC unlikely to cut output
# IS fighters seized Iraq advantage by striking during sandstorm 
# IS says it has a Romanian hostage 
# Are Iraq rape victims being tricked into speaking to journalists?
# Jobs board: Saudi Arabia advertises for eight new executioners as beheading rate soars
# Afghanistan president slams report Pakistan will train its spy agency
# Taliban attacks disrupt progress in Afghanistan-Pakistan relations
# Pakistan's sprawling American diploma mill
# ICC refuses to appoint match officials for Zimbabwe's tour of Pakistan
# The girl fighting to stop child marriage in Pakistan
# Russia accuses west of stirring revolution in Macedonia
Of Interest 
# Hackers tried to hit Pentagon with heartbleed bug
# Why the NYT apps look different 


The Rundown -- May 18

Forty Thousand Demand Macedonian Government Resignationi
May 17, 2015
Around 40,000 people took to the streets of Skopje to demand the resignation of Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski and his government. The protests, organized by the opposition, came after leaked tapes apparently showing ministers plotting vote-rigging and the cover up of a murder. (RFE/RL's Macedonian Service)
Forty Thousand Demand Macedonian Government Resignation
RFE/RL in the Media
Fortune and Independent cite Carl Schreck's reporting on PayPal blocking payments for Nemtsov report
Guardian reports on Azerbaijan extending detention of Khadija Ismayilova
Yahoo uses RFE/RL Iraq Service video of mass exodus from Ramadi
# Vladimir Putin scored eight goals in a hockey game
# Russia's most talked about forced marriage (between a 17 and 47 year-old) exposes "Putin's cronies" 
# After Tsarnayev verdict, Kadyrov comes out as Boston Marathon truther
# "New Putin Invasion Coming This Summer" - Michael Weiss and James Miller, Daily Beast
# Bershidsky: Rebel overtures designed by Putin to freeze conflict
# West clings to ceasefire despite Kyiv's doubts (Nuland in Moscow for talks)
# Ukraine claims two Russian soldiers captured in eastern Ukraine
Eastern Europe
# Several thousand rally in Moldova for reunification with Romania
Tens of thousands protest against government in Skopje
Middle East
# Yemen ceasefire expires
# "Did George W. Bush Create ISIS?" - Dexter Filkins, New Yorker 
# Armenia's "hero" taxi driver
Central Asia
# Turkmenistan reportedly pardons more than 1,200 prisoners
# "Europe and Turkmenistan Make Nice" - Paolo Sorbello, Diplomat
Of Interest
# A hacker reportedly commandeered a commercial jet 
# How trolling became the language of diplomacy
# The best opening lines from literary classics

Karimov -- Bold And Nasty

Uzbek President Islam Karimov: "Very nice"

Qishloq Ovozi noted a while back that Uzbek President Islam Karimov, 77, seemed to have problems articulating his thoughts at his April 10 inauguration ceremony.

In the interest of balance, it should now be pointed out that Karimov seemed to have no trouble expressing himself at the May 8 informal summit of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) in Moscow. And he had some interesting comments.

There has been a creeping thaw in Uzbek-Tajik relations lately, but it was clear at the informal summit that there will be no thaw in Uzbek-Kyrgyz relations anytime soon.

Kyrgyz President Almaz Atambaev addressed the leaders at the CIS roundtable before Karimov. All were using their speeches to pay homage to the sacrifices of the people of the Soviet Union during World War II.

Atambaev offered his words of praise and noted it was a pity that not all the CIS leaders would stay in Moscow for the massive May 9 parade Moscow was having to commemorate the war's end.

"It would demonstrate their respect to the great victory," Atambaev said.

Karimov was not the only leader at the table who was not attending the May 9 festivities in Moscow, but he seemed to have taken Atambaev's comments personally. Qishloq Ovozi has also noted that Karimov can be quick to take offense.

Fortunately, there is a video of Karimov's speech to the CIS leaders.​

The clip by is 35 minutes, although Karimov does not start speaking until the 23:20 mark. He starts with the obligatory praise for sacrifices of the past. But at about 23:55 he starts responding to Atambaev's remarks, upbraiding him, actually, calling his comments "inappropriate."

Karimov says that "every country, every people, and every leader" has the right to choose when, where, and how they wish to mark anniversaries and other national events. He continues by saying that there is no "obligation" as to which "rituals" a country must observe.

At the 25:50 mark, Atambaev, whose microphone is turned off, calls out that he was simply expressing his opinion.

"Very nice," Karimov says, cutting off Atambaev.

"Your opinion we already know for a long time," Karimov continues, with a smile on his face that suggests how pleased he is with himself at that moment.

Moving ahead, Karimov returns to the theme of praising "our fathers and grandfathers" for their contributions to win the war, and even says that "a special role in the victory, without any exaggeration...belongs first of all to the Russian people."

But at about the 28:00 mark, he transitions from speaking about World War II to warning of the dangers and consequences of a potential World War III, "possibly the last war in the history of humankind."

Karimov then mentions Ukraine, carefully noting he is not criticizing anyone for the situation there but then calling for a restoration of trust between the world's great powers, "firstly between the United States and Russia."

Russian President Vladimir Putin is shown several times while Karimov is saying all this.

I'll leave it to the viewer to decide what those looks on Putin's face might mean.

-- Bruce Pannier, with contributions from RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service (Azattyk) and RFE/RL Uzbek Service (Ozodlik) Director Alisher Sidikov

The Rundown -- May 15

RFE/RL Video Roundup - May 14i
May 14, 2015
Taliban gunmen kill 14 at a Kabul guest house, Pakistanis mourn Islamic State victims from a minority Shi'a sect, a Belgrade court overturns the 1946 verdict against a divisive Chetnik commander -- plus stories from Kyrgyzstan and Georgia.
RFE/RL Video Roundup - May 14
# On trying to report a rape in Russia
# Russia's building a rather slow computer chip of its own
# The Kremlin may benefit from Poland's fight for coal
# For Russians, the "new cold war" has already started
# In April, "20 feet" came between Russia and War with NATO (according to New York Review of Books) 
# Ukraine accuses Facebook of pro-Russia bias
# Ukraine turning to Romania for help in battle against hacking
# "Defanging the Ukrainian Oligarchs" - Balazs Jarabik, Carnegie 
Eastern Europe
# Moldova expels Romanian ahead of pro-unification rally
Middle East
# IS releases audio message purported to be from Baghdadi 
# Senior Iranian official calls Saudi King Salman a traitor to Islam
# As Ghani takes on corruption, Afghans increasingly nostalgic about Karzai 
# US watchdog: Afghanistan's future threatened by bad intelligence 
# Paula Kantor and the "inherent racism of viewing all foreigners as ‘invaders’"
# Pakistan has a lot riding on Zimbabwe cricket tour, but there's high confusion over security
# Serbia rehabilitates convicted Nazi collaborator 
Central Asia
# What's killing Kazakhstan's antelope?


The Rundown -- May 14

RFE/RL Video Roundup - May 13i
May 13, 2015
Dozens of Shi'a killed in Pakistan, a girls school reopens in Khyber, and the Serbian and Bosnian prime ministers meet in Sarajevo, plus stories from Kyrgyzstan and Pakistan.
RFE/RL Video Roundup - May 13
# Turkey take stronger line against Moscow, saying "nothing justifies" actions in Ukraine and Georgia 
# Swedes trolling Russia with gay singing sailor 
# More evidence that Russian Buk brought down MH17
# "Russia Was Right: Shale in Europe Has Proved a Dud" - Ladka Mortkowitz Bauerova, Bloomberg
# Poroshenko asks Mark Zuckerberg to create a Facebook office in Ukraine to handle Russian trolls 
# Ukraine says it foiled a Russian plot to create breakaway state in southwestern Ukraine
# The rise and fall of E. Ukraine's all-Pagan battalion 
# The bones in the forests of Western Ukraine stir political passions today
Middle East
# IS deputy leader said to be killed in airstrike (on the other hand, maybe not)
# Iran warns U.S. against stopping Yemen-bound aid ship
# The journey from astrophysics student to IS fighter
# Militants storm Kabul guesthouse popular among foreigners
# Afghanistan and Pakistan pledge to fight terrorism together
# Husain Haqqani on what Pakistan knew during bin Laden raid
Central Asia
# One decade after Andijan massacre, West "turns a blind eye" to rights abuses
# "Tajikistan's Russian Dream" - Joe Schottenfeld, Foreign Affairs 
# Ten members of congress took trip secretly funded by Azerbaijani government 
# NATO and EU call for "transparent investigation" of Macedonia unrest
Macedonia's lipstick protester remained calm amid the chaos 

The Rundown -- May 7

RFE/RL Video Roundup - May 6i
May 06, 2015
An Afghan court sentences defendants in a mob killing, Macedonians protest over police brutality, Pakistanis go on strike over changes to a planned trade route, and Bosnian Roma celebrate St. George's Day.
RFE/RL Video Roundup - May 6
RFE/RL in the Media
# Read Maria Kugel and Daisy Sindelar in Guardian on Sergey Dyomin’s paintings of "holy monkeys" 
# Read Carl Schreck in Guardian on the best Russian satirical accounts
Fifteen ways Putin has changed Russia and the world
# April was the Russian ruble's best month since 1993
Comparing Russia's military firepower to the West
# The conductor rescuing Mozart -- in Perm 
# New talks in Minsk called "constructive"
# Ukrainian Interior Minister Avakov causes row, claiming U.S. training Azov battalion fighters
# What satellite photos can show about Russian forces near Ukraine
# "Ukraine Remembers the Lessons of World War II" - Yaroslav Brisiuck, Wall Street Journal
Middle East
# IS is running a five star hotel
# Massacre site in Iraq becomes monument for Shi'a
# Kerry calls for "pause" in Saudi strikes in Yemen to allow for food aid
# Syria appears to still be using chemical weapons
# Iran could shake up world pistachio market if sanctions stop 
# Khamenei threatens Iran will walk from talks if held under "ghost of a threat
# Afghan poppy farmers say new seeds will boost opium output
# "ISIL in Afghanistan? Not So fast" - Olof Blomqvist, Al Jazeera
# Pakistan separatist faces wrath of military
# 1.9 million displaced by Pakistan violence
# Another opposition leader sentenced in Azerbaijan
Of Interest

The Rundown -- May 6

PEN Honors Khadija Ismayilovai
|| 0:00:00
May 06, 2015
Khadija Ismayilova, a jailed Azerbaijani investigative journalist and contributor to RFE/RL, was given PEN's Freedom To Write Award at a ceremony in New York City on May 5. The literary and human rights organization produced this video to highlight Ismayilova's work and courage.
PEN Honors Khadija Ismayilova

RFE/RL in the Media

# Khadija Ismayilova receives PEN Media Freedom Award; watch this incredible video
Buzzfeed and Yahoo News cite Golnaz Esfandiari's interview with husband of activist just arrested in Iran
Diplomat cites RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service interview with Kyrgyzstan's vice president 
# Firtash claims US extradition request is political interference
# Israel quashed drone sale to Ukraine at Putin's request
# Russia's new Armata tank
# Britain and Nato launch biggest war games on Russia's doorstep as tensions grow
# "Once again, the West Fails to Understand Russia" - Mary Dejevsky, Independent
# Picture uncovered of woman who may have been Lenin's lover
Eastern Europe
# "Syria-bound" British family held in Turkey to be deported to Moldova
# "Debate" in Moscow over whether to support the Iran nuclear deal
# Iran arrests rights activist Narges Mohammadi
# U.S. aiming to make restoring sanctions after nuclear deal immune to veto of China and Russia 
# Iran's two decade drought 
Middle East
# U.S. offers millions in rewards for information on IS leaders
# Pro-Assad Palestinian militias fighting "battle to the death" against IS in Yarmouk
# The importance of water for IS
# Huthis fire into Saudi Arabia, killing at least three 
# Four men sentenced to death over killing of Farkhunda
# Former Guantanamo detainees camping outside U.S. embassy in Uruguay 
# Execution of Pakistan death row convict stayed in dispute over age
# "Pakistan Will Disappoint Saudi Arabia" - Marvin Weinbaun, Foreign Policy 
Central Asia
# The mass exodus of Uzbekistan's Bukhara Jews
Of Interest

The Rundown -- May 5

RFE/RL Video Roundup - May 4i
May 04, 2015
Protests after a billion dollars vanish from banks in Moldova, a new trial for prominent imprisoned opposition leader in Belarus, a suicide bomber targets a busload of government employees in Afghanistan, plus stories from Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan and Tajikistan. (RFE/RL)
RFE/RL Video Roundup - May 4
RFE/RL in the Media
# BBG Governor Matt Armstrong in War on the Rocks on reining in RT 
# RFE/RL looking for a senior correspondent in Washington (Poynter)
# Hackers apparently used malware to fake views on pro-Russian videos
# Zeman says Islamist terrorism greater threat to Europe than Russia
# How IS is recruiting migrant workers in Moscow
# Moytl: Donbas is becoming a major headache for Moscow
# The creeping influence of the Russian ruble in eastern Ukraine
# "In Eastern Ukraine, Doctors Are ‘Terrorists’ and Antibiotics Are Herbs" - Matthew Vickery and Sheren Khalel, Foreign Policy
Eastern Europe
# Belarus rights record under fire at UN
# Iran bans "devil worshipping" haircuts
# Iran planning Formula 1 circuit
# "Obama's New Answers on Iran Fall Flat" - Josh Rogin, Bloomberg
# How much trouble is Assad really in?
# Vivid details about life in Tikrit during IS occupation 
# Texas shooters linked to IS
# Fertilizer, used for bombs, flows to militant-controlled territory from Turkey
# Afghanistan's solar-powered motorbike
# The starving children of Helmand province
# Gangsters release kidnapped Pakistani police
# Lower oil prices a boon in Pakistan
Central Asia
# Tajikistan reportedly creates "second line of defense" on Afghan border
Of Interest

The Rundown -- May 4

The Kyrgyz Of Jerge-Tal (Part 4)i
|| 0:00:00
May 02, 2015
In another from Janyl Jusupjan's series of short films about the lives of ethnic Kyrgyz in the town of Jerge-Tal in northern Tajikistan, we meet Saifaridin, an elderly man who fled Jerge-Tal during Tajikistan's civil war in the 1990s.
The Kyrgyz Of Jerge-Tal (Part 4)

RFE/RL in the Media

# Diplomat cites Bruce Pannier's Qishloq Ovozi blog on terror threat in Uzbekistan 

# Washington Times cites Joanna Paraszczuk's reporting on mandate for men to grow beards in IS-held areas

# Huffington Post covers RFE/RL's story about a Bosnian Muslim rebuilding a 700-year-old Christian church



# Night Wolves given police escort from Bratislava to Vienna; 500 turn out for event

# The charmed Brooklyn life of the founder of U.S.-bashing LifeNews

# Moscow Times and Vedomosti  sold to Russian buyer

# "Russia's Stolen Future" - Tanya Lokshina, HRW



# Ukraine experiencing most intense fighting since ceasefire

# Year after Odesa tragedy, "burning hatred" divides city


Eastern Europe

# Tens of thousands of Moldovans protest amid banking scandal 


Middle East

# Fledgling talks with Assad to end war may be getting started

# IS recently executed 300 Yazidi hostages, according to reports

# IS has taken control of half of Iraq's largest refinery 

# Baath party continues to cast a shadow over Iraq

# Kerry "guarantees" Israelis that U.S can prevent an Iranian bomb



# Suspects in Farkhunda killing go on trial 

# Pakistan urges Afghan Taliban to join peace talks; ceasefire talks in Qatar unsuccessful 

# "Maimed Defending Afghanistan, Then Neglected" - Rod Nordland, New York Times

# Anti-American sentiment ebbs in Pakistan


Central Asia

# Annexation of Crimea has magnified divisions inside Kazakhstan


Of Interest

# Journalism in 395 words

# Podcast: "Attention metrics" for measuring engagement


The Rundown -- April 30

RFE/RL Video Roundup - Apr. 29i
April 29, 2015
Ukrainian nationalists protest at the presidential administration in Kyiv, a Bosnian Serb policeman is laid to rest after being killed by a suspected Islamist militant, Kurdish students protest against a Turkoman university president in Iraq, plus stories from Pakistan and Kazakhstan. (RFE/RL)
RFE/RL Video Roundup - Apr. 29
RFE/RL in the Media
Diplomat, on crackdown on media in Central Asia, says RFE/RL Turkmen and Uzbek services have been targets 
Foreign Policy cites RFE/RL Ukrainian Service investigation on Klitschko's business ties
# Russian state media calls Baltimore riots "Afromaidan
Something strange is happening at Echo Moskvy
# Russia may house World Cup teams in Chechnya 
# Gazprom profits plunged 86 percent in 2014
# Investors coming back to Russia
# Ukraine separatists rewrite history of 1930s famine
Power reshuffle in Ukraine
# International Rescue Committee, accused by separatists of being spies, kicked out of eastern Ukraine
# "Kyiv's Purge" - Alexander Motyl on decommunization legislation
Eastern Europe
# Lukashenka: Jews In Belarus should be taken "under control"
# Tusk promises closer cooperation with Moldova
# Taliban gains make for wider U.S. role in Afghanistan than originally planned 
# For Afghanistan's abandoned children help is scarce
# Ghani seeks to renew India's commitment in Afghanistan
# Sharif accuses India of spurning closer ties
Middle East
# Monitor: Since June, IS has shot, stoned or beheaded over 2,000 people off the battlefield
# "ISIS and the Principles of War" - Robert Hein, Brookings
Photos: The women waging war on IS
# Crew of vessel seized by Iran is safe, but still unclear why it happened says shipping company
# Obama's Persian language spokesman wins fans in Iran
Central Asia
# A new clandestine crossing to the EU, via Serbia
Of Interest
# How used Google Earth to explain the Nepal earthquake

The Rundown -- April 29

RFE/RL Video Roundup - Apr. 28i
April 28, 2015
Motorcyclists of Russia's Night Wolves club are barred from the EU, Bosnian police are on high alert after a shooting, and Pakistan begins to recover from devastating storms, plus stories from Georgia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan.
RFE/RL Video Roundup - April 28
RFE/RL in the Media
# RFE/RL Ukrainian Service's "fox sandwich" video everywhere
New York Times and France 24 use RFE/RL Afghanistan video of Farkhuda murder reenactment 
Diplomat cites RFE/RL's Tajik Service's interview on beard-shaving order  
# Brian Whitmore talks Russian on Czech TV
# Large forest fire spreads near Chernobyl
# Ukraine says grad rocket attacks have resumed in the east
# Is controversial anti-communist legislation being used as a smokescreen?
# Poroshenko's confectionary seized in Russia
Russians seethe over Western snub of war anniversary parade
# Putin says Russia over worst of economic downturn
# Russian bikers say they'll try other routes after Polish ban
# Problems delay docking of Russian cargo ship at space station
# "48 Hours as a Kremlin Whore" - Mark Galeotti, Russia
Middle East
# In surprise shakeup Saudi King Salman changes line of succession 
# I.S.-flagged ship intercepted by Iranian patrol (no Americans on board) 
# American prisoner in Iran reportedly taunted after Obama's White House Correspondents' dinner speech 
# Video: a rare execution pardon in Iran
Massive landslide in Afghanistan's northeast
# Poor U.S. coordination puts $488 million at risk in Afghanistan
# Can a pink rickshaw help fight sexual harassment in Pakistan?
# The seminar in Balochistan that may have gotten Sabeen Mahmud murdered
Central Asia
# Salon columnist says Kazakhstan elections are to be admired; Jonathan Chait disagrees
# Falling oil price may make paying for the European Games more difficult than Azerbaijan had hoped
Of Interest
# WSJ's 40-person video team makes 40 videos a day

The Rundown -- April 28

RFE/RL Video Roundup - Apr. 27i
April 27, 2015
A severe storm claims lives in Pakistan, Russian and Kyrgyz soldiers prepare for a Victory Day parade, and Moldovan children learn to play basketball with American help, plus stories from Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, and Tatarstan.
RFE/RL Video Roundup - April 27
RFE/RL in the Media
BBC runs amazing RFE/RL Ukrainian Service video of fox making a sandwich (1.2 million on Facebook)
Guardian runs photos by Giorgi Gogua of Georgia's muddy, bloody game of Lelo
# In obituary, Washington Post mentions Wladyslaw Bartoszewski's writing for RFE/RL
Russia Behind the Headlines on RFE/RL digital media project 
# Polish border guards refuse entry for Russian bikers; Russia demands explanation
# Maus book about Holocaust is removed from Russian stores because it displays a Swastika
# Russian embassy in UK tweets "Ukraine is dead" column
# Putin's "Balkan offensive"
Shelling in residential areas near Mariupol
# EU likely to leave Ukraine empty-handed at summit
# "What Klitschko’s Title Means to Ukrainians" - Polly Mosendz, Newsweek
# Head of Iran's Guard lashes out over Saudi "treachery"
# Iran bans magazine after "white marriage" issue
# "Broaden the Talks With Iran" - Mohammad Ali Shabani, New York Times
Middle East
# New policy will allow families of U.S. hostages to pay ransom
# Republicans propose directly funding Iraqi militias
# "Where the Islamic State Gets Its Weapons" - CJ Chivers, New York Times 
# Kabul activists reenact Farkhunda's death
# Obama gave "secret waver" for drone strikes in Pakistan
# "Explaining Pakistan’s Self-Defeating Afghanistan Policy" - Khalid Homayun Nadiri, Lawfare
# Filling the "educational void around Sufism" in Pakistan
# "Europe's Map Is Redrawn As Azerbaijan Goes East" - Till Bruckner, Huffington Post
# The prime minister of Malta keeps going to Azerbaijan

The Rundown -- April 27

The Kyrgyz Of Jerge-Tal (Part 3)i
April 25, 2015
In another from Janyl Jusupjan's series of short films about the lives of ethnic Kyrgyz in the town of Jerge-Tal in northern Tajikistan, we meet Latofat, the only female singer in her village, whose mother was Kyrgyz and father was Tajik.
The Kyrgyz Of Jerge-Tal (Part 3)
# Putin says U.S. helped North Caucasus separatists against Russia in the early 2000s
# More twerking drama: Russians jailed for twerking in front of World War II memorial
# The science behind Lenin's embalming 
# More servicemen die over weekend as pressure on "ceasefire" continues
# Ukrainian oligarchs face Kyiv government backlash after miner strikes allegedly pushed by Akhmetov 
# "De-Communization Won't Help Ukraine" - Mathew Kupfer, Moscow Times
Middle East
# Iraq will export new crude grade in May
# IS releases first video from Yemen
Australian doctor films IS promo video from Syria
# Khamenei criticizes rich kids after deadly car crashes
# Israel, fearing increased arms transfers, shifts focus to Hizballah 
# "The Iran Deal That Never Was" - Gideon Rachman, Financial Times
# Taliban kill second police chief from same Afghan province
# Forty days after Farkhunda's death, a "turning point" for Afghanistan? 
# Gunmen in Pakistan kill prominent female activist
# Pakistan's military accused of orchestrating "creeping coup"
# Biggest Serb party threatens secession in 2018
Central Asia
# Nazarbayev said to win 97 percent of vote in Kazakhstan election
# Breitbart timeline: Clinton trip to Kazakhstan followed by "windfall" for Clinton Foundation
# Berdymukhamedov first to be awarded "People's Horse Breeder of Turkmenistan"
# Hollande says he raised rights issues in talks with Aliyev
# "How the Armenians came to live among Arabs" - Lana Asfour, Al Jazeera

The Rundown -- April 24

RFE/RL Video Roundup - Apr. 23i
April 23, 2015
Construction workers protest red tape in Kosovo, Pakistan's tribal regions launch a school enrollment drive, and an Afghan NGO urges the government to break a deadlock, plus more stories from Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan.
RFE/RL Video Roundup - April 23


# Kadyrov gives his security services permission to fire on Russian special forces if they come uninvited
# Pro-Putin activists launch Russian answer to Charlie Hebdo 
# Russian defense ministry claims U.S. troops are in eastern Ukraine
# NGOs warn of increasing domestic violence in Ukraine
# Internal refugees struggle to get by in Ukraine
# Video: The Texan fighting alongside east Ukraine separatists
Eastern Europe
# Moldovan soldiers battle bride in military stunt
Middle East
# Iraqi woman most wanted by IS gives tearful account of extremist group’s atrocities
# With death of Adam Gadahn, "Al-Qaeda's American dream ends"
# Peshmerga: Pros and cons
# U.S. official says Iranian cargo ships have turned away from Yemen; reportedly consists of warships
# U.S. and Italian hostages accidentally killed in U.S. drone strikes
# Pakistani politicians decry "unfair" China corridor route
# Pakistan plans 12,000-strong security force to safeguard Chinese workers 
# Holbrooke's diary reveals divide with Obama over Afghanistan policy 
# Britain sidesteps saying genocide on mass killings of Armenians
# Turkey says Austria's recognition of genocide will have "permanent negative effects"
# Profile: Two generations after his grandfather fled mass slaughter, California-born Raffi Hovannisian returned to Armenia—and ran for president
# Turkey allegedly stopped Bosnian Serb leader from flying to Armenia; Turkey denies
Central Asia
# Devout Muslims claim crackdown in Tajikistan amid Syria fears
Of Interest

The Rundown -- April 23

RFE/RL Video Roundup - Apr. 22i
April 22, 2015
Public hospitals paralyzed by strike action in Peshawar, a legendary film studio sold off in Serbia, plus stories from Moldova and Kyrgyzstan. (RFE/RL)
RFE/RL Video Roundup - Apr. 22
RFE/RL in the Media
Atlantic cites Martins Zvaners on restrictions to RFE/RL in Russia 
# U.S. says Russia building up forces by Ukraine border
# Gazprom says Kyiv owes it $174 million for gas supplies to eastern Ukraine
# Mounting frustration in Kyiv-controlled eastern Ukraine, particularly Kharkiv
# Ukraine's large Greek community not happy with Tsipras reaching out to Moscow 
# European regulators charge Gazprom with abusing its dominance in natural gas markets
# Space station workers start hunger strike after Putin doesn't come through on promise 
# Lavrov says IS is greatest threat to Russia
# The Russian mom taking on the country's gay "propaganda" law
Dog killing video sparks protests in Iran 
# India wants oil field back from Iran
# "A Nuke Deal Too Big to Fail" - Aaron David Miller, Foreign Policy 
Middle East
# Ramadi residents who have fled face harrowing choice: return now or wait with nowhere to go
# A profile on the physics teacher who may now be running IS
# Captured IS leader explains how the group amasses its fortune
# Taliban announce spring offensive in Afghanistan
# Afghanistan tries to strike balance in escalating Iran-Saudi rivalry
# Sharif to visit Saudi Arabia today
# "China Loves Pakistan … but Most Chinese Don’t" - Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian, Foreign Policy 
# Human rights lawyer Aliyev sentenced to 7.5 years in prison In Azerbaijan
# Erdogan says Armenia will "insult" Turkey in commemoration ceremony
Wire-tap scandal threatens stability, democracy in Macedonia

The Rundown -- April 22

RFE/RL Video Roundup - Apr. 21i
April 21, 2015
A fatal explosion in Kandahar as police attempt to defuse explosives in Afghanistan, floods and preparations for elections in Kazakhstan, plus an American artist painting ''peace murals'' marking 20 years since the end of the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina. (RFE/RL)
RFE/RL Video Roundup - Apr. 21
RFE/RL in the Media
BBC cites RFE/RL Tajik Service on law to force parents to give children Tajik names 
# Bond rally at hint of optimism about debt restructuring
# Stephen Sestanovich says on Ukraine Putin is now "more bored than bellicose
# Russian website allows businesses, including Burger King, to advertise on women's breasts
# Gallup poll shows Russia receives lowest approval in the world, U.S. highest
# "How Putin Is Disrupting the Atlantic Alliance" - Ivan Krastev and Mark Leonard, Foreign Affairs
Eastern Europe
# Lukashenka's "soft Belarusization"
# Moldova trying to build up its army 
Middle East
# Saudis end air campaign in Yemen
# Guardian reports IS leader al-Baghdadi "seriously wounded in air strike"; Pentagon skeptical
# Is IS propaganda all it's cracked up to be?
# The secret replica of Iran's nuclear facilities, in the forests of Tennessee 
# Obama administration knew "for years" about Iran's short nuclear breakout time
# Iran wants OPEC prepared for it
New doubt to claims of IS attack in Afghanistan
# Afghanistan and Iran getting cozier
# Transparency law opening up Pakistan
# "Pakistan, the Saudis’ Indispensable Nuclear Partner" - Pervez Hoodbhoy, New York Times
# Turkey sends condolences on mass killing anniversary, but rejects genocide term
# "The Word Obama Can’t Bring Himself to Say" - Adam Lerner, Politico 
# Macedonia says Kosovo gunmen took police hostage and called for an Albanian state
# U.S. official says Kosovo should try it's own rebels to avoid Serbia or Russia
Of Interest
# Facebook tweaking algorithm to make users less likely to see posts from publishers
# Autoplay video now "a staple of the web"

The Rundown -- April 21

RFE/RL Video Roundup - Apr. 20i
April 20, 2015
A warm welcome for Chinese President Xi Jinping in Pakistan, the funeral of a journalist killed last week in Ukraine, plus stories from Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. (RFE/RL)
RFE/RL Video Roundup - April 20
# U.S. paratroopers begin training Ukraine national guard units
# Armed with new law, Ukraine targets its shadowy banks
# What it means to use Ukrainian or Russian on Ukraine's front lines 
# Russian security services say they have killed the head of a North Caucasus Islamist insurgency
# LGBT activist publicly shames Russians who send her threats
# Russia sets sights on Middle East
Middle East
# Air strike on Scud missile base rocks Sanaa 
# "Why the World Missed Yemen’s Downward Spiral" - Laura Kasinoff, Foreign Policy 
# At least 90,000 have been displaced near Baghdad in the last several days
# "Getting ISIS out of Iraq" - Robert Pape, New York Times
# Washington Post reporter charged with spying
# U.S. warship sent to block Iran weapons off of Yemen
# "A Message From Iran" - Mohammad Javad Zarif, New York Times
Kidnappings rattle Afghanistan Hazara community
# Heroine from Afghanistan flooding into India
# U.S. and Saudis plan sanctions on Pakistani charity
# "Why Are We Sending This Attack Helicopter to Pakistan?" - Husain Haqqani, Wall Street Journal
# Germany to use call Turkish mass killings of Armenians genocide 
# System of a Down "on facing history" and playing in Armenia
# HRW to Azerbaijan: Release activists and journalists behind bars
# Belgrade says it will arrest Thaci if he comes to Serbia 

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