Monday, March 02, 2015


Communications / The Rundown

The Rundown -- February 27

RFE/RL Video Roundup - February 26i
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February 26, 2015
Afghans celebrate their first ever victory in a World Cup cricket match, Kyrgyzstan accuses Belarus of harboring Kyrgyz criminals, knocking down illegally built shops in Pakistan -- plus more from Afghanistan.
RFE/RL Video Roundup - February 26
RFE/RL in the Media
Quartz covers raid on RFE/RL Baku office 
 
Ukraine
# Ceasefire holding, Ukraine begins artillery withdrawal
# Ukraine desperate for IMF aid as money runs low
# Putin says suspension of gas flow to the east "smells of genocide"; threatens to cut gas by end of week
 
Russia
# Russian ATMs granting micro-loans
# Can Russia afford Transdniester
# Lesbian nightclub being investigated after viral kissing photo
# Putin approval back at 86 percent
# "No, Obama, Russia's Economy Isn't 'in Tatters'"- Leonid Bershidsky, Bloomberg
 
Eastern Europe
# Belarus launching pilot project using cockroaches as animal feed 
# Merkel says she hopes Moldova isn't in Putin's sights
 
 
Iraq/Syria
# Video shows IS militants smashing antiquities dating from as far back as the 7th century BC
# "Jihadi John" identified as Mohammed Emwazi
# "The Clash of Civilizations That Isn't" - Robin Wright, New Yorker 
 
Iran
# Iran's Navy destroys mock U.S. carrier
# New York Times editorial supports potential Iran-U.S. nuclear deal; Krauthammer doesn't
 
Afghanistan/Pakistan
# Report: Torture of detainees continues in Afghanistan
# U.S. embassy issues emergency message, warning of threats against Americans in Afghanistan
# Pakistan tightening mobile phone controls to prevent their use in militant attacks; demanding fingerprints
 
Central Asia
# Kazakhstan passes draft "gay propaganda" bill
 
Of Interest

The Rundown -- February 26

RFE/RL Video Roundup - February 25i
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February 25, 2015
Sunni tribal leaders in an Islamic State-controlled Iraqi town blame Iran for a bombing, students in Tbilisi stage a mock funeral for Georgia’s battered Lari currency, Pakistani authorities tell Afghan imams to stop preaching in Pakistani mosques – plus more stories from Pakistan and Afghanistan.
RFE/RL Video Roundup - February 25
RFE/RL in the Media
# Golnaz Esfandiari interviewed on Clippet
# Irina Lagunina talks Russian propaganda on Czech Television
# RFE/RL's Under the Black Flag cited by International Business Times for reporting on Tajik arrested in Moscow
 
Russia
# Russia's insider traders know Putin's plans
# Russia and America at the Oscars
# Female teachers in Yekaterinburg told by official to find rich husbands
# Russian lawmakers draft legislation banning women under 40 from smoking
# "The Empire Strikes Back" - Noah Sneider, Medium
 
Ukraine
# As ceasefire appears to possibly be taking hold, Ukraine faces gas supply threat from Russia and dire economy
# Kyiv says Russian drones violating Ukraine's airspace
# Ukraine finally getting 3G mobile
# Most experts polled by Foreign Affairs oppose arming Ukraine
 
Eastern Europe
# Belarus bans Tor and other anonymizers
 
Middle East
# Baghdad not happy with U.S. releasing details about coming Mosul offensive; U.S. arms flow in to Iraq in preparation
# Maliki plotting comeback
# IS burns 8,000 rare books and manuscripts in Mosul
 
Iran
# Things getting heated between Israel and Iran over Netanyahu speech
# Kerry: "There is no deal yet" so stop criticizing it
 
Afghanistan/Pakistan
# Afghanistan shocks Scotland in cricket win
# Suicide bomber targets Turkish embassy car in Kabul
# Avalanches kill at least 108 in Afghanistan
# Musharraf sees role for Taliban in Pakistan
 
Caucasus
# Aliyev tries to reassure public on currency flop
# Armenian opposition forces back down
# EU courts Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan gas as Russian links sour
 
Central Asia
# Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan natives in New York charged with plans to join IS
# BBC's multimedia project on the Aral Sea
 
Of Interest

The Rundown -- February 25

RFE/RL Video Roundup - Feb. 24i
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February 24, 2015
Afghans consult the World Food Program amid warnings of a coming drought, displaced Pakistanis call for food aid, heavy snow covers the Tajik capital, and Kyrgyzstan's Museum of Ballet opens its doors.
RFE/RL Video Roundup - Feb. 24
RFE/RL in the Media
# Brian Whitmore interviewed on Czech Television
Weekly Standard cites RFE/RL reporting on Bosnian cleric on trial for IS recruitment
 
 
Ukraine
# Cameron says UK troops will train Ukraine army; move "stuns" Europe
# Novaya Gazeta releases what it says is Kremlin's pre-Maidan strategy for Ukraine crisis
# "Ukraine's Tarnished Poster Child for Reform" - Leonid Bershidsky, Bloomberg
 
Russia
# What is Russia up to in the Arctic?
# Kerry: Moscow "lying to my face"
# "Russia Lost the Long Game at Debaltseve" - Alexander Golts, Moscow Times
 
Eastern Europe
# Lithuania reinstates military conscription
# The dress rehearsal for the Belarusian crackdown 
# Former WNBA No. 1 draft pick switches from U.S. to Belarus
 
Middle East
# Did Turkey cut a deal with IS?
# IS kidnaps dozes of Assyrian Christians
# Who lured three young girls to serve IS in Syria?
# CNN debate: Is IS Islamic?
 
Iran
# White House denies 10 year agreement with Iran
# American music makes a return to Iran
# Iran returns stolen torah scroll recovered by Basij
 
Afghanistan/Pakistan
# IS kidnaps dozens in Afghanistan
# Kerry says Obama to decide soon on Afghanistan troop levels
# US stops consular services at Peshawar mission, issues travel warning
 
Central Asia
# Former son-in-law of Kazakh president said to commit suicide in Austrian prison
 
Caucasus
# "Azerbaijan Loses Its Manat Mojo" - Nargiz Rashid, Eurasianet
 
Of Interest
# The Flight MH370 is in Kazakhstan theory gets New York magazine treatment

The Rundown -- February 24

RFE/RL Video Roundup - February 23i
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February 23, 2015
Claims that Pashtuns are being denied identity papers in Pakistan, chemical workers pledge daily protests in Armenia, massive currency devaluation in Azerbaijan, plus stories from Georgia and Afghanistan.
RFE/RL Video Roundup - February 23
RFE/RL in the Media
 
Guardian publishes -- and Daily Mail cites -- Carl Schreck's reporting on the Starbucks posters that outraged Armenians
Guardian publishes Tom Balmforth's piece on Kremlin traffic vigilantes 
Breitbart cites RFE/RL's Under the Black Flag blog for reporting on alleged "jihadist" child training camp in Raqqa 
 
Ukraine
# Thousands turn out for Soviet holiday celebration in Donetsk
# Separatists said to be massing near Mariupol; OSCE says ceasefire has lowered military exchanges
# Ukraine recruiting volunteer "i-army"
# Arms suppliers meeting with Ukraine officials in Abu Dhabi; most American still oppose arming Ukraine, but support is up
# "Don't Doubt the Ceasefire" - Michael Kofman, Foreign Affairs
 
Russia
# Four enormous holes found in northern Russia
# Russia crisis hitting Baltic neighbors hard
# "What if Putin Were Nice" - Keith Gessin, Politico 
# "Spymania returns to Russia" - Oleg Kashin, OpenDemocracy 
 
 
Middle East
# The Americans contractors working with the Peshmerga
# Assyrian Christian militia low on resources 
# Australian PM considered "invading" Iraq last year
# "Obama's Rushing to Disaster in Iraq" - Eli Lake, Bloomberg
 
Iran
# Historic US-Iran nuclear deal could be taking shape; details of the forming deal
# Al Jazeera and Guardian release docs showing Netanyahu may have misled UNGA on Iran
# Russia offers to sell surface-to-air missiles to Iran
 
Afghanistan/Pakistan
# Reuters Afghanistan and Pakistan bureau chief dies
# Abdullah says talks with Taliban will start soon
# Refugees "pushed to exits" in Pakistan
# Pakistanis face a deadline: Surrender fingerprints or give up cellphone
# "Pakistan in Its Labyrinth" - Roger Cohen, New York Times
 
Caucasus
# Azerbaijan devalues currency by one-third amid oil price tumble
# Armenian opposition "in disarray
 
Central Asia
# Tajikistan's ruling party holds pre-election rallies by force
 
Of Interest
# How six news organizations are working with SnapChat

The Rundown -- February 20

RFE/RL Video Roundup - Feb. 19i
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February 19, 2015
Pro-Russian separatists establish control of an eastern Ukrainian town after government troops withdraw, Moldova's parliament approves a new prime minister, and displaced people say they are going hungry in northwest Pakistan.
RFE/RL Video Roundup - Feb. 19
RFE/RL in the Media
Reuters and Deutsche Welle both mention RFE/RL's Prague headquarters in articles about new Prague-based Civil Society Center
Diplomat cites RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service for Kumtor gold mine reporting 
 
Ukraine
# With Debaltseve taken, fighting moves towards Mariupol, perhaps Artemivsk
# "Ukraine's Phony Peacekeeping Plan" - Leonid Bershidsky, Bloomberg
Washington Post editorial slams White House on Ukraine
# Poroshenko's Roshen being sued
 
Russia
# Britain sends warplanes to scramble Russian jets off of Cornwall; watch what that looks like
# Russian sanctions leave uneven penalties
# Gary Shteyngart watched Russian TV nonstop for a week
# Pomerantsav on how to beat back Kremlin propaganda
 
Middle East
# IS leader may have been good at math, not so good at English in high school
# Poll: Majority of Americans support ground troops against IS
# Militants supporting IS seize Libyan university in Sirte
# IS supporters mock CNN over kittens and Nutella segment
 
Iran
# U.S. accuses Israel of inaccurate leaks on Iran talks
 
Afghanistan/Pakistan
# In Afghanistan, U.S. "failed to provide an alternative"
# Afghan first lady steps into the spotlight
# Afghan Taliban signals it's ready for peace talks with Kabul
 
Caucasus
# Jack Straw takes paid Kazakhstan job
 
Balkans
# Tony Blair takes on role advising Serbian government
# Kosovo does more trade with Serbia than Albania
 
Of Interest
Life

The Rundown -- February 19

RFE/RL Video Roundup - Feb. 18i
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February 18, 2015
Pakistani Shi'a demand justice after an attack on a mosque, Kyrgyz officials warn against the threat of religious extremism, and Turkey helps blind students in Tajikistan.
RFE/RL Video Roundup - Feb. 18

RFE/RL in the Media

Washington Post publishes Khadija Ismayilova's letter from prison 
Newsweek cites Brian Whitmore and his Power Vertical on Russia's waning influence
PRI interviews Daisy Sindelar on her My Ukraine project
YahooNews uses video from RFE/RL's Current Time behind separatist front lines
 
Ukraine
# Soldiers recount "painful retreat" from Debaltseve
# After Debaltseve, what's next? Germany says peace plan damaged, not dead
# Ukraine crisis in maps
 
Russia
# Forty-two percent of Russians believe the Internet is being used by foreign countries against it
# Orban tries to play down Putin's visit to Hungary, which was apparently requested by the Russian president
# British defense secretary warns of Russian threat to Baltics
# Only one price (oil) matters at Russia's Central Bank
 
Middle East
# The Kurdish "Mad Max gunmaker
# Libya asks UN Security Council to lift arms embargo to fight IS
ThinkProgress rebuttal of Graeme Wood's piece on ideology of IS
# NYT Video: From a Cairo private school to IS killing fields
 
Iran
# Khamenei says he could use gas exports as a lever in nuclear negotiations 
# Lawyer chosen to represent Washington Post reporter still being denied access to him
 
Afghanistan/Pakistan
# In Afghanistan's deadliest year, battles between government forces and Taliban replaced suicide bombs as deadliest 
# Afghanistan's "complex" insurgency
# Awaiting trial, Musharraf holds court at his villa 
# New York Times essay on how Pakistan has changed: "The Great Divide"
 
Balkans
# Bosnia arrests suspected militants on their way to Syria
 
Caucasus
# Azerbaijan extends Leyla Yunus's detention by five months
 
Central Asia
# Uzbekistan provides amnesty to prominent religious leader
 
Of Interest
# Social Bakers: Photos now produce lowest reach on Facebook 

The Rundown -- February 18

RFE/RL Video Roundup - Feb. 17i
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February 17, 2015
Pakistani police clash with protesters angered by lost jobs, Kazakh parties approve early presidential elections, and Kosovars celebrate seven years of independence, plus stories from Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan, and Moldova.
RFE/RL Video Roundup - Feb. 17
RFE/RL in the Media
BBC on Azerbaijan detentions, including Khadija Ismaylova
Meduza's guide to the world's Russia experts includes a note on Masha Gessen's time at RFE/RL 
PRI covers Daisy Sinderlar's Ukraine: Memory and Identity project
# RFE/RL mentioned in Washington Post piece about countering extremism 
 
Russia
# How Eliot Higgins proved Russia was shelling from its own territory (in depth here)
# Putin in Hungary, where new gas agreement is announced
# Crimea has become economic no-go zone
# "The Resistible Rise of Vladimir Putin" - Stephen Kotkin, Foreign Affairs
 
Ukraine
# Russia sponsors UNSC resolution on Minsk 2 while telling Kyiv to surrender in Debaltseve
# Buzzfeed: photos near Debaltseve show the brutality of war
# The origins of separatism in Donetsk
 
Caucasus
# Russia may be stoking Azerbaijan-Armenia hostilities 
 
 
Middle East/North Africa
# Italy fears IS invasion from Libya
# Libya is turning into Iraq
# IS militants reportedly burn 45 people to death in newly captured town
# Southern Iraq makes bid for autonomy
# Kurds losing patience with U.S. over IS
 
Iran
# The pros and cons of the emerging Iran nuclear deal
# Khamenei reportedly criticizes American Sniper 
 
Afghanistan/Pakistan
# Taliban suicide attacks kill 25 in Afghanistan and Pakistan
# Afghan forces close in on Pakistan Taliban chief
# "A Plea From FATA" - Dawn, Anwar Shakir Wazir 
 
Balkans
 
Of Interest
# Is mobile journalism the production tool or the product?

The Rundown -- February 17

RFE/RL Video Roundup - Feb. 16i
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February 16, 2015
Afghans mourn a female politician killed in a bombing, Pakistani officials plan the return of displaced persons, and Kazakhstan promotes domestic products to ward off a flood of Russian imports.
RFE/RL Video Roundup - Feb. 16
RFE/RL in the Media
Guardian cites RFE/RL interview with Ivan Krastev
# Peter Pomerantsev's family ties to RFE/RL mentioned in New York Times profile 
 
Russia
# Russian crooner Iosif Kobzon sanctioned -- a profile
# Kremlin making itself felt in Europe
# "The American Education of Vladimir Putin" - Fiona Hill and Clifford Gaddy, Atlantic 
# VKontakte takes some steps towards copyright respect
 
Ukraine
# Despite ceasefire, heavy clashes continue in Debaltseve; Russian control of main road seems to spell doom
# Could giving Ukraine weapons make for a quicker peace?
# Timothy Garton Ash: "a Syria in Europe" possible as long as Putin controls eastern Ukraine
 
Eastern Europe
# Romania sends ambulances to Moldova in tug-of-war with Russia
 
Middle East/North Africa
# Egyptian jets strike IS targets in Libya after mass execution video
# U.S. intensifies efforts against IS propaganda
# BBC Video: Room for optimism in Baghdad?
# "What ISIS Really Wants" - Graeme Wood, Atlantic 
 
Iran
# China's foreign minister pushes Iran on nuclear deal 
# "Washington’s Third Option Against a Nuclear Iran" - Raymond Tanter, Foreign Policy 
# Netanyahu may have leaked U.S. secrets to harm Iran negotiations
 
Afghanistan/Pakistan
# Bomb attack in eastern Afghanistan kills female politician
# "The Afghan Militant in the Photo? The Wrong Man, and He’s Not Happy" - Taimor Shah and Joseph Goldstein, New York Times 
# What does Musharraf's admission about proxies tell us about Pakistan today?
 
Caucasus
# Armenia withdraws peace accords with Turkey from parliament
 
Central Asia
 

The Rundown -- February 13

RFE/RL Video Roundup - Feb. 12i
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February 12, 2015
A toilet roll protest and a fistfight at the Ukrainian parliament, female commandos train in Pakistan, and Georgia moves to shore up its struggling currency.
RFE/RL Video Roundup - February 12
RFE/RL in the Media
Telegraph and Euronews use RFE/RL Ukrainian Service video of parliament fight 
Guardian republishes RFE/RL on the memes behind the scenes in Minsk
# RFE/RL use of Visme mentioned in Huffington Post
 
 
After Minsk
# "A Time Bomb Wrapped in a Ukrainian Peace Deal" - Leonid Bershidsky, Bloomberg
# Heavy shelling follows summit as both sides look to gain ground before ceasefire
# Ukraine headed for "total economic collapse"
# Ukrainian deputies give senator misleading photos
# Ukraine adds bonuses to try to rally troops
 
Eastern Europe
# EU steps in to reverse Russian embargo on Moldovan fruit
 
Iraq/Syria
# Shi'ite militias fill military void, but Sunnis fear them
# White House delayed attempt to rescue IS hostages by a month
# Is IS starting to get a little defensive?
 
Iran
# Israel warns that it could unilaterally strike Iran
# Suleimani claims IS is "nearing end"
# "Curtail Iran and Win" - Roger Cohen, New York Times 
 
Afghanistan/Pakistan
Seized computer helping Washington find Al Qaeda operatives 
# Top Afghan commander presses for flexibility in troop drawdown
# Pakistan likely knew of Osama bin Laden’s presence, admits former spy chief
# Pakistan braces for major water shortages
 
Caucasus
# "The View From Azerbaijan" - Tony Barber, Financial Times
 
Of Interest

The Rundown -- February 12

RFE/RL Video Roundup - Feb. 11i
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February 11, 2015
Macedonian students demand autonomy for their university, Pakistanis displaced from the tribal regions call upon Islamabad for compensation and action, Kyrgyzstan's former prosecutor-general says she is receiving threats -- plus more stories from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Georgia.
RFE/RL Video Roundup - Feb. 11
RFE/RL in the Media
International Business Times cites RFE/RL coverage of Minsk talks
Foreign Policy mentions Khadija Ismayilova case in story of a dissident hiding in Swiss Embassy for months
 
Minsk Talks
# Follow RFE/RL's liveblog as deal seems near following all-night negotiations 
# Close friend of Putin takes lead role in negotiations...for Ukraine?
 
Ukraine
# BBC reports that protesters shot at police during Maidan massacre
# U.S. weapons to Ukraine could take months
# Free speech or treason? On the journalist arrested for protesting conscription
 
Russia
#Putin advisor says U.S. trying to dismember Russia
 
Iraq/Syria
# Obama asks Congress for more authorization of military force against IS
# IS sends foreign recruits into battle while local fighters stay behind
# Kayla Mueller may have been paired with IS fighter during captivity
# IS magazine claims wife of Kosher supermarket killer is in Syria
 
Iran
# Rohani says nuclear negotiations goal is a win-win outcome
# The death of Iran's "Dead Sea"
 
Afghanistan/Pakistan
# What threat does IS actually hold in Afghanistan?
# Christians flee to Pakistan slum amid blasphemy allegations 
# Pakistan's history of disavowing international honorees
# "Pakistan's Anti-Terrorist Enthusiasm Wanes. . . Again" - Farheen Rizvi, Huffington Post
 
Caucasus
# Financial Times interviews Aliyev's spokesman, mentions human rights once 
 
Of Interest
# How hoaxes go viral and how to stop them

The Rundown -- February 11

Civilians Killed In Rocket Attack In Eastern Ukrainei
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February 10, 2015
Local officials say at least five people were killed and 26 wounded after missiles hit a residential area and the military headquarters in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk. The victims included both civilians and soldiers. Damage from the missiles could be seen at a local school and apartment blocks. (Reuters)
Civilians Killed In Rocket Attack In Eastern Ukraine

RFE/RL in the Media

# Read Daud Khattak in Foreign Policy on the viability of IS in AfPak 
Global Post cites RFE/RL's reporting on attack in Kramatorsk
Huffington Post quotes Christina Hicks on things to do in Prague
 
Ukraine
# Both sides open new fronts in fighting as Minsk talks get under way
# Congressional leaders backing $1 billion in lethal aid to Ukraine
# USA Today prints map of Ukraine without Crimea
# An eastern Ukraine photo essay
 
Russia
# In Ukraine, Putin gifts Sissi AK-47
# Lavrov's performance in Munich may have been more for Putin than for world
# Alexander Litvinenko inquiry: All traitors to Russia "should be exterminated," suspect claims
# Well known American actor in popular Russian TV show comes out as gay
 
Eastern Europe 
# Belarus is unlikely star of Ukraine talks
# The Belarusian artist still driving his homemade Soviet car
 
Iraq/Syria
# Kayla Mueller's death confirmed
# Jordan moves "thousands" of troops to border with Iraq
# The mass graves that IS leaves behind
 
Iran
# NSA says Iran learned from U.S. cyberattacks 
# Should Netanyahu testify before Congress instead of giving a speech?
# In Congress, "impatience" on Iran grows
 
Afghanistan/Pakistan
# White House weighs adjusting Afghan exit plan to slow withdrawal of troops
# UN says Taliban is enhancing links to organized crime in Afghanistan
Bridging the divide between Pashtuns on the Durand line 
# China confirms Pakistan nuclear projects

The Rundown -- February 10

RFE/RL Video Roundup - February 9i
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February 09, 2015
Fighting unabated in eastern Ukraine, a dispute over a plot of land leads to shots being fired on the streets of Kabul, the countdown begins towards reopening two major museums in Serbia, plus stories from Armenia and Pakistan. (RFE/RL)
RFE/RL Video Roundup - February 9
RFE/RL in the Media
Slate cites RFE/RL in coverage of video messages by Russian and Ukrainian students
# CNN, Reuters, International Business Times and Euronews broadcast RFE/RL's Current Time video from the Ukraine battlefield
 
Ukraine
# Kerry tells lawmakers he privately supports arming Ukraine
# Separatists say they've encircled Ukrainian troops in Debaltseve
# Is Mariupol the next big battle of the Ukraine war?
# "Why Arming Kiev Is a Really, Really Bad Idea" - Stephen Walt, Foreign Policy
 
Russia
# EU puts off sanctions and Obama holds off on weapons -- at least until Minsk talks
# More than 80 percent of Russians view the U.S. negatively 
# NYT profiles Russian Central Bank head
# "The Long View With Russia" - Anne Applebaum, Washington Post
# "High Treason, a New Russian Low" - Masha Gessen, New York Times 
 
Iraq/Syria
# At least 22 killed in suicide attacks in Baghdad
# Jordan's jails are a major IS recruiting ground
# IS member explains why he left group
# Traub: The U.S. can "do very little" to alter Middle East course right now
 
Iran
# The satirist who mocks Iran's ayatollahs
# "Proceed With Caution on Iran Diplomacy" - David Ignatius, Washington Post
 
Afghanistan/Pakistan
# IS commander said to be killed in Afghanistan
# China taking on outsize roll in Afghanistan
# A Saudi prince's controversial hunting trip in Pakistan
 
Central Asia
# Historical sites recall Kazakhstan's Buddhist past
# Tajikistan's "last prophet" faces jail
# UN rapporteur slams Kazakhstan on rights
 

The Rundown -- February 9

U.S. Presents New National Security Strategyi
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February 06, 2015
The United States has presented its new national security strategy, a 29-page document setting out what it sees as the major security challenges. Speaking to the Brookings Institute, national-security adviser Susan Rice named Islamic State militants and Russia as key security issues. (Reuters)
U.S. Presents New National Security Strategy

RFE/RL in the Media

# Rob Coalson interviewed by the Atlantic Council of Canada on current state of affairs in Russia
# Brian Whitmore cited by Edward Lucas in Center for European Policy Analysis for his coverage of Putin
# Abubakar Siddique featured as an expert and interviewed for Council on Foreign Relations Taliban guide
# Read Abubakar Siddique in Dawn on whether Taliban should be classified as terrorists 
# RFE/RL and VOA "off the rails" for Azerbaijan coverage says another opinion piece in Roll Call 
 
Russia
# U.S. general says Russia mobilizing for war it thinks will happen in about five years
# North Korea tests cruise missile that is identical to one used by Russia
# "Is Putin Bent on Reshaping the World Order?" - James G Neuger, BloombergBusiness
# "Why [Putin's] Days are Numbered" - Alexandr Motyl, Foreign Affairs 
 
Ukraine
# New Minsk meeting planned for Wednesday 
# "Inside Ukraine’s Shock-Trauma Wards" - David Patrikarakos, Daily Beast
# "Don't Arm Ukraine" - John Mearsheimer, New York Times 
 
Iraq/Syria
# Iraq's only female Yazidi MP on the battle to save her people
# Anonymous takes control of IS social media accounts 
# The "brutal logic" behind IS depravity 
# The fates of 23 IS hostages
 
Iran
# Both Kerry and Zarif say there will be no negotiations extension
# Zarif reportedly warned West that Rohani's administration would be at risk if talks failed
 
Afghanistan/Pakistan
# Afghanistan opium addiction hits new high
# Afghanistan police force is studied for ties to Taliban
# Families of Peshawar massacre victims protest
 
Of Interest

The Rundown -- February 6

RFE/RL Video Roundup - Feb. 5i
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February 05, 2015
Pakistanis mark solidarity with Kashmiri Muslims, opposition group protests police violence in Armenia, an antigay rally in Kyrgyzstan, plus stories from Georgia, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan.
RFE/RL Video Roundup - Feb. 5
RFE/RL in the Media
Reporters Without Borders on Khadija Ismayilova beginning third month in prison
 
Ukraine
# Merkel, Hollande in Kyiv and Moscow floating new Ukraine peace plan; but experts are pessimistic 
# Ukraine's currency plunges
# Former NATO chief warns Putin may attack Baltics to test NATO
# Influential new report argues for arming Ukraine; the case against it
 
Russia
# "U.S. Hasn't Kept Ukraine Aid Promises" - Josh Rogin, Bloomberg
# What House to unveil call for "strategic patience
 
Eastern Europe
# Belarusian ruble also in free-fall
 
Iraq/Syria
# Was an early January assault on IS headquarters also a rescue mission?
# King Abdullah is not flying bombing raids, despite photos
# How IS is promoting Muath al-Kaseasbeh burning on social media
# al-Kaseasbeh's wife said he had a premonition something would go wrong
 
Iran
# Rohani accuses West of distorting Iran's nuclear plans
# Iran reportedly arrests 100 for dancing at mixed party
# Washington Post says emerging nuclear deal "raises major concerns"
 
Afghanistan/Pakistan
# "How Not to Squander Hard-Won Gains in Afghanistan" - Michael O'Hanlon, Wall Street Journal
# Afghan warlords trying to revamp image in changing times
# Pakistan is unexpected leader in rehabilitating "former jihadis" 
 
Central Asia
 
Balkans
 
Of Interest
# Are investigative journalists protecting their digital security?

The Rundown -- February 5

RFE/RL Video Roundup -- Feb. 4i
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February 04, 2015
Drug smugglers arrested in Afghanistan, taxi drivers blocking roads in Pakistan, and World Cancer Day marked in Kyrgyzstan and Georgia
RFE/RL Video Roundup -- Feb. 4
RFE/RL in the Media
Huffington Post cites RFE/RL foreign fighters data
Christian Science Monitor cites Tom Balmforth's reporting on Russian dash-cams
 
Russia
# Putin gets suburban trains running again with six words that say a lot about how Russia works
# Russians hurting but still 70 percent say they think Moscow should continue with current policies
# Orban says main foreign policy goal is strong ties with Russia and Germany 
 
Ukraine
# "Welcome to the Most Corrupt Nation in Europe" - Oliver Bullough, Guardian 
# Medics and morgues can't keep up with the Ukraine casualties 
# Strelkov says Putin has made himself "hostage" to the war in Ukraine
# Crowd-funding the war in Ukraine from Manhattan
 
Iraq/Syria
# IS reportedly doing almost unbelievably awful things to children
# Jordanians call for IS blood
# FoxNews embeds entire IS Jordanian pilot video
# How Baghdad may be inadvertently funding IS through civil servant pay
 
Iran
# Rohani tries to get Iranians to pay their taxes
# Iran's charge d'affaires in Buenos Aires speaks to Daily Beast about Nisman death
 
Caucasus
# At Washington Times "forum," Azerbaijan official warns U.S. of losing influence in Caucasus 
 
Central Asia
# Uzbekistan wins award for "socially responsible tourism"
 
Afghanistan/Pakistan
# The Woman who sold her baby for $435 to buy firewood
# Pakistan plunges into fuel crisis
 
Of Interest

The Rundown -- February 4

RFE/RL Video Roundup -- Feb. 3i
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February 03, 2015
Protesters want more women in the Afghan government, Ukraine mourns the death of a pop singer, gas prices to rise in Georgia, plus stories from Kyrgyzstan, and Pakistan.
RFE/RL Video Roundup -- Feb. 3

 

RFE/RL in the Media
Guardian picks up coverage by Arslan Saidov and Claire Bigg of a video message by Ukrainian students to their Russian counterparts
Global Post cites Rob Coalson's explainer on military aid to Ukraine
CNN/Reuters use RFE/RL Current Time video from Debaltseve 
 
Russia
# Saudis said to be using oil leverage to tempt Putin to abandon Assad
# Russia plans joint military drills with North Korea and Cuba
# Military analyst says massive Russian invasion of Ukraine imminent 
 
Eastern Europe
 
Ukraine
# Town social media groups become "lifeline" for civilians in eastern Ukraine
# Russia and Ukraine in indirect talks over Black Sea air corridor
# HRW criticizes separatists and Kyiv over rising civilian death toll
# "How the West Is Losing Ukraine" - Leonid Bershidsky, Bloomberg
 
Iraq/Syria
# Jordanian pilot burned alive by IS had likely been dead for weeks
# George Packer: IS less like a conventional authoritarian state than a "death cult"
2,500 year old Jewish tablets discovered in Iraq
 
Iran
# Syrian rebels say they're holding an Iranian fighter and are willing to swap 
# U.S. and Iran discussing compromise that would allow Iran to keep nuclear enriching technology
 
Afghanistan/Pakistan
# For Afghans, 2014 was the bloodiest year
Anxiety grows over Afghanistan's unity government
# Ashton Carter says he'd consider changing Afghanistan withdrawal plans if situation warranted
# Obama proposes more than $1 billion for Pakistan
 
Balkans
# ICJ absolves Croatia and Serbia of genocide
 
Of Interest

The Rundown -- February 3

RFE/RL Video Roundup - Feb. 2i
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February 02, 2015
Former senior officials arrested in connection with killings in Georgia, long queues for dollars amid rumors of currency collapse in Turkmenistan, victims of separatist rocket attack honored at events in Ukraine, plus stories from Pakistan and Bosnia. (RFE/RL)
RFE/RL Video Roundup - February 2
RFE/RL in the Media
Business Insider features RFE/RL's visualization on Russia' gas leverage in Europe
Daud Khattak quoted in The Australian 
 
Russia
# Is this case against a Russian mother of seven, Moscow's own admission that its troops are in Ukraine?
# Financial Times tick-tock of slow realization in West that Putin couldn't be a partner
# Orange snow covers Saratov
# Thousands gather in Budapest to protest Hungary's shift to Russia
 
Ukraine
# Zakharchenko blames "miserable" Jews for crisis in Ukraine
# Ukraine separatists upbeat after infusion of aid
# Could failing to arm Ukraine lead to a bloodier conflict in the long run?
 
Iraq/Syria
# Local media claims Iraqi father killed seven in response to IS executing his son
# Kurdish fighters struggle to hold gains against IS
# Al-Maliki remaining politically active
 
Iran
# More Brits dislike Israel than Iran, according to poll
# Ahmadinejad's new website, Instagram account suggest he's attempting comeback
 
Afghanistan/Pakistan
# U.S. decides to declassify data on Afghan troops 
# Drought-hit Pakistan turns to solar water treatment
# The duel between Russia and Pakistan over the corpse of a hanged terrorist
# Pakistan prepares for Saudi royal to hunt protected birds
 
Of Interest

The Rundown -- February 2

Avdiyivka, 'City Of Ghosts' In Eastern Ukrainei
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February 01, 2015
Avdiyivka, just north of Donetsk, has been shelled by both sides of the conflict between Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed separatists. There are no soldiers in the town, and many inhabitants have also left. Those who remain have no running water or electricity, many have no gas. Schools and shops are closed. RFE/RL's Shahida Yakub, who visited on January 28, describes it as a ''city of ghosts.''
Avdiyivka, 'City Of Ghosts' In Eastern Ukraine
RFE/RL in the Media
Slate picks up RFE/RL report on Ukraine separatists organizing a "conference of unrecognized states"
Inquisitor uses RFE/RL coverage of the alleged unmasking of Putin's daughter 
Digital Journal cites RFE/RL Russian Service coverage of mother of seven imprisoned in Russia 
 
Russia
# Russia awards $3 billion Crimea bridge contract to Rotenberg, Putin's old Judo partner
# Five Russian nuclear weapons of war the West should fear
# "Spy vs. Nonspy in Putin’s Russia" - Julia Ioffe, New York Times 
 
 
Ukraine
# U.S. officials edging towards supplying arms to Ukraine
# Rebels report heavy losses in Debaltseve as civilians flee
# Donetsk separatists legalize private coal mining
# The Ukrainian journalist trying to avoid conscription 
 
Iraq/Syria
# What moviegoers in Baghdad think of American Sniper
# Assad still "too delusional" to end war says interviewer 
# Iraq's PM pledges hard line against alleged militia abuses
# UN says nearly 1,400 died in Iraq violence in January
 
Iran
# Rohani accuses hardliners of "cheering on" other side
# Iran has Holocaust cartoon contest in response to Charlie Hebdo
# Why new Iran sanctions are looking less likely
 
Afghanistan/Pakistan
# "What If America Had Never Invaded Afghanistan?" - Robert Grenier, Atlantic
# Kabul Charlie Hebdo protests turn violent
Language politics back in the spotlight in Afghanistan
# Is Pakistan really cracking down on terrorism?
# Mourners bury dead after gruesome mosque bombing
 
Caucasus
 
Balkans
# Macedonia authorities allege plot to overthrow the government
 
Of Interest

The Rundown -- January 30

RFE/RL Video Roundup - Jan. 29i
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January 29, 2015
A film in Serbia documents a massacre of Kosovo Albanians, protesting for unpaid wages in Kazakhstan, a strike empties the business district of Karachi, Pakistan -- plus more stories from Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan.
RFE/RL Video Roundup - Jan. 29
RFE/RL in the Media
Washington Post mentions Khadija Ismayilova case in panning pro-Azerbaijan Washington Times supplement 
The Independent cites Rob Coalson's feature on Greece's ties to Russia
 
Russia
# Greece  backs down, extends Russia sanctions
# Putin's daughter may have been outed -- and it may have been orchestrated by the Kremlin
# Russian military planes disrupt aviation near UK
# Russian conscripts' relatives fear they're being tricked into going to Ukraine
# In response to Ukraine crisis, Berlin to launch new think tank
 
Ukraine
# Polish defense minister says Ukraine peace hopes are fading
# Steven Pifer and Strobe Talbott call for arming Ukraine
 
Eastern Europe
# In seven-hour news conference Lukashenka warns Russia and the West
 
Iraq/Syria/Saudi Arabia
# Jordan lets IS deadline pass
# Inside Kobani, liberated from IS
# "Covert CIA Mission to Arm Syrian Rebels Goes Awry" - Adam Entous, Wall Street Journal
# "Israel Is the New Front in the Syrian War" - Phillip Smyth, Foreign Policy 
 
Iran
# U.S. draws closer to Iran-tied Houthi rebels in Yemen
 
Afghanistan/Pakistan
# Three American contractors killed in "insider attack" in Afghan capital
# The Pakistani refugees who are living in a minefield
 
Caucasus
# Amal Clooney argues case in Armenian genocide hearing
# Hollande urges Turkey to 'break taboos' on Armenia WWI killings
# Azerbaijan sentences opposition journalist to five years in jail
 
Of Interest
# On Bloomberg's new site design

The Rundown -- January 29

RFE/RL Video Roundup - Jan. 28i
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January 28, 2015
Russian military support for Tajikistan, Armenia celebrates its national army day, dancing in the streets of Quetta, Pakistan -- plus more stories from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Kazakhstan.
RFE/RL Video Roundup - Jan. 28
RFE/RL in the Media
Guardian uses RFE/RL photos of Uzbek buzkashi
Washington Times cites RFE/RL report about EU considering "terrorist" designation for Ukraine separatists 
Institute for War and Peace Reporting features RFE/RL Georgian Service reporting from "no man's land" on boundary with South Ossetia 
 
Russia
# Greece is one hold out on call for new Russia sanctions; sanctions now "Syriza's bargaining chip"; (read Rob Coalson's piece about extremely close ties with Russian influencers)
# "Why Putin Is the Big Winner in Greece’s Elections" - Keith Johnson and Jamila Trindle, Foreign Policy 
# Russian Duma to consider condemnation of West Germany's "annexation" of East Germany
# Split with Stephen Cohen among scholars goes public over dissertation prize
 
Ukraine
# Bellingcat reconstructs May 9 Mariupol clash -- says shooting provoked by separatists
# Ukraine clamps down on travel to and from separatist areas
# Is Putin's statement about a "foreign NATO legion" a trial balloon aimed at ramping up military engagement in eastern Ukraine?
 
Iraq/Syria
# Increased Iraq output heightens intra-OPEC conflict
# Jordan offers prisoner swap for hostage pilot
 
Iran
# Washington Post journalist to stand trial "soon" in Iran
# Democratic support for Iran sanctions bill waning
# On Iran's goals in Syria
 
Afghanistan/Pakistan
# Afghanistan arrests militants linked to journalist's killing
 
Central Asia
# Kazakhstan bans rallies, fearing Ukraine-style turmoil, according to UN report
 
Caucasus
 
Balkans
Dozens injured in Kosovo anti-government demonstrations
 

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