Sunday, March 29, 2015


Communications / The Rundown

The Rundown -- March 27

RFE/RL Video Roundup - Mar. 26i
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March 26, 2015
Humvees in Ukraine, a $200,000 Mercedes in Serbia, plus antiterrorism in Kyrgyzstan and a scout camp in Iraq. (RFE/RL)
RFE/RL Video Roundup - Mar. 26
RFE/RL in the media
RT and Reuters on upcoming study about U.S. "information war"
Toronto Star quotes Rob Coalson's piece about Ukraine oligarchs
 
 
Russia
# Putin says Western spy agencies plotting for 2018 election
# Russian army TV channel invites Jeremy Clarkson to present motoring show
# "The Central Banker Who Saved the Russian Economy From the Abyss" - Evgenia Pismennaya and Ilya Arkhipov, Bloomberg 
 
Ukraine
# West holds off on Ukraine aid pledges, seeking reforms
# Wizzair Ukraine to close
# Journalists rate Ukraine's best friends in Brussels 
# "Help Ukraine to Arm Itself" - Leonid Bershidsky, Bloomberg 
 
Middle East
# Some Shi'ite militias boycotting Tikrit fighting because of U.S. bombing 
# Egypt says it may send troops to Yemen fight; Iran condemns intervention
# Al-Qaeda may be main beneficiary of power vacuum in Yemen
# U.S. drops gory propaganda leaflets over Syria
 
Iran
# US considers allowing Iran to still run centrifuges at fortified site
# Rohani writes to Obama and speaks to Cameroon as deal deadline approaches
# "To Stop Iran’s Bomb, Bomb Iran" - John Bolton, New York Times 
 
Afghanistan/Pakistan
# Soldier indicted for producing child porn in Afghanistan
# Pakistan considering Saudi request to take part in Yemen operation
# Pakistan's newest "political odd couple
 
Central Asia
# Mysterious sleeping ailment continues in Kazakhstan
 
Of Interest

The Rundown -- March 26

RFE/RL Video Roundup - Mar. 25i
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March 25, 2015
A suicide bombing hits Kabul, vandals disfigure a shrine to assassinated Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov in Moscow, and an experiment in alternative energy in Pakistan, plus stories from Bosnia and Armenia. (RFE/RL)
RFE/RL Video Roundup - March 25
RFE/RL in the Media
# Report by Enders Wimbush and Elizabeth Portale says U.S. and BBG losing "information war
YahooNews uses RFE/RL video of aftermath of Kabul car bomb
Washington Post cites RFE/RL Uzbek service on name change for Victory Day in Uzbekistan 
 
Russia
# Foreign carmakers leaving Russia
# Russia unveils plans for high speed railway and superhighway connecting Europe and America
# Obama reportedly snubs NATO chief in Washington
# Nicaragua may get Russian fighter jets 
 
Ukraine
# Ukraine arrests two top officials on live TV
# Ukraine receives humvees from U.S. 
# "The Political Perils of a Ukraine Default" - Marc Champion, Bloomberg 
 
Eastern Europe
# Revolution "impossible" in Belarus 
 
Middle East
# Hadi flees Yemen and Saudi Arabia begins air strikes, as anti-Huthi Gulf coalition forms 
# Former president Saleh believed to be helping Huthis
# U.S. conducting airstrikes over Tikrit; perhaps closest cooperation with Iran yet 
 
Iran
# In nuclear talks, Iran seeks to avoid specifics
# U.S. officials fear Iran attacking U.S. troops in Iraq
 Soleimani in Iraq for Tikrit offensive 
 
Afghanistan/Pakistan
# The Afghanistan translator who became a 9/11 millionaire
# Bowe Berghdal charged with misbehavior before the enemy and desertion 
# "President Obama Must Stand With Afghanistan" - Tom Cotton, Politico 
 
Central Asia
# "Kyrgyzstan Reaches out to Europe – While Inching Closer to Russia" - Hugh Williamson, Guardian 
# Troops from Uzbekistan and Russia reportedly deployed to Turkmen-Afghan border
 
Caucasus
# Harvey Nichols opens department store in Azerbaijan
 
Of Interest
# The most important thing on the Internet is the screenshot
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The Rundown -- March 25

RFE/RL Video Roundup - Mar. 24i
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March 24, 2015
Thousands of Afghans demand justice in the wake of a mob killing, Kyrgyzstan marks the 10th anniversary of its Tulip Revolution, and Armenian workers accuse their employer of siphoning off their salaries.
RFE/RL Video Roundup - March 24
RFE/RL in the Media
Global Voices interviews Golnaz Esfandiari, "English-Language journalism's ‘bridge’ to Iran"
New York Times mentions RFE/RL as model for BBG plan to create entity for Spanish-language broadcasting 
 
Ukraine
# Amid "ugly" fight with Poroshenko powerful Ukrainian oligarch Kolymoysky resigns
# Oligarch battle "the most serious internal crisis" since new Ukrainian government came to power
# "Ukraine: Divided and Bitter" - Tim Judah, New York Review of Books
# "To See Ukraine’s Future, Recall Crimea" - Andrew Foxall, New York Times
 
Russia
# Russian bid to stop UN benefit for gay couples fails badly 
# Jordan signs $10 billion nuclear power plant deal with Russia
# "Is Russian Literature Dead?" - Owen Matthews, Foreign Policy
 
Iran
# White House accuses Israel of spying on nuclear negotiations and using details to lobby Congress; different than normal spying?
# Iran hard-liners "show restraint" on nuclear talks
# Video profile: NYT's "Man in Tehran"
 
Middle East
# IS militants skimming from salaries paid to state employees
# HRW says Iraqi security forces burned Sunni villages to the ground after liberating them from IS
# U.S. joins Iraqi offensive in Tikrit
# Tunisian Star Wars town now a way-station for IS militants 
 
Afghanistan/Pakistan
# Obama announces decision to maintain troop levels through 2015
# Ghani on U.S. reliance
# U.S. drone strike kills nine Pakistani Taliban in Afghanistan
# Pakistan official says country needs short-range "tactical" nuclear weapons 
 
Balkans
# "Letter from Macedonia" - Rupert Wolfe-Murray, Huffington Post
 
Caucasus
# Armenian anti-NGO law "inspired by Moscow"
 
Of Interest
# Facebook wants to replace websites for news
# If you drilled a hole through earth, it would take 38 minutes for an object to drop to the other side
# U.S. ambassador to Libya quits Twitter

The Rundown -- March 24

RFE/RL Video Roundup - Mar. 23i
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March 23, 2015
Afghans demand justice in the wake of a mob killing, Moldova's semi-autonomous Gagauzia region elects a new governor, and Tajikistan celebrates Norouz, plus videos from Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, and Ukraine.
RFE/RL Video Roundup - March 23

RFE/RL in the Media

Newsweek cites Brian Whitmore and his "influential" Power Vertical blog on Nemtsov killing 
Vox uses RFE/RL Ukrainian Service video of Kolomoysky outburst against RFE/RL journalist 
 
Russia
# Opposition lawmaker: RT should be registered as lobby group instead of media
# How Russia tries to "recruit" bloggers
# "Could Kadyrov Replace Putin?" - Mark Galeotti, Moscow Times
 
Ukraine
# Ukraine pledges to stop buying Russian gas starting in April
# Ukraine's ruling party hit by spate of apparent suicides 
# Bloomberg video: Chart shows "dismantling of Ukraine economy
 
Eastern Europe
# Gagauzia elects pro-Russian leader
 
Iran
# Israel looking to France to oppose Iran deal
# Iran working "unconstrained" to tighten grip on Arab states 
# "Obama's Empty Message to Iran" - Eli Lake, Bloomberg 
# "Iran’s Coming Leadership Crisis" - Sohrab Ahmari, Wall Street Journal
 
Middle East
# Erdogan in rift with government 
# Obama to host Iraqi PM on April 14
# Battle for Tikrit "key" to Iraq's future
# Group of 11 medical students go to IS-controlled territory
 
Afghanistan/Pakistan
# Gunmen kill 13 bus passengers in Afghanistan
# Video of alleged IS member recruiting Afghans
# "Afghanistan and Pakistan: The False Promise of Rapprochement" - Mohammed Umer Daudzai, New York Times 
# Pakistan displays locally made armed drone
 
Central Asia
# OCCRP's investigation into Gulnara Karimova's (former) empire
# China and Russia tussle for influence in Kazakhstan
 
Of Interest
# How Vox grew its audience on Facebook

The Rundown -- March 20

RFE/RL Video Roundup - Mar. 19i
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March 19, 2015
Displaced people return to their homes in Pakistan, high school students protest in Macedonia, security stepped up for Norouz in Afghanistan, plus stories from Armenia and Pakistan.
RFE/RL Video Roundup - Mar. 19
RFE/RL in the Media
Buzzfeed cites RFE/RL reporting on anti-gay movements in Kazakhstan
BBC cites RFE/RL Russian Service report on Kremlin-backed troll farms
Daily NewsTelegraphDaily MailThe Blaze use RFE/RL video from horrific scene of a woman beaten to death for allegedly burning the Koran in Kabul
 
Russia
# EU says sanctions will stay in place until Minsk deal is implemented
# New York Times questions Kadyrov about Nemtsov murder -- Kadyrov says he doesn't know what goes on in Moscow 
 
Ukraine
# U.S. army paratroopers to train national guardsmen in Ukraine
# Foul stench in rebel-held east Ukraine as war hits water treatment
# "The Gains From Ukraine" - Ryan Evans, New York Times 
# Video: Protestants must practice in secret in Donetsk
 
Eastern Europe
# Belarus surprises Russia with China potash deal 
# Moldova bans two Russian journalists who planned to present the Crimea documentary 
 
Iraq/Syria
# IEDs one of the biggest challenges for Iraqi forces
# IS increasingly using encryption software to evade surveillance
# IS claims responsibility for Tunisia attack, but officials can't establish link
# The IS honey trap 
 
Iran
# Draft Iran accord would cut Iranian centrifuge production by 40 percent
# U.S. officials say earlier Iran centrifuge test was an error
# Fears that Saudi Arabia will try to match Iran
# "Inside the lives of Iranian women" on a Tehran stage
 
Afghanistan/Pakistan
# According to study, violence more likely to occur in pro-U.S. villages of Afghanistan
# Vice: The precarious future of female education in Afghanistan
 
Central Asia
# Putin to visit Astana today
# Why cheap oil may be good for China in Central Asia
 
Caucasus
 

 


The Rundown -- March 19

RFE/RL Video Roundup - Mar. 18i
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March 18, 2015
A Kyrgyz protest demands the extradition of former President Bakiev from Belarus, Afghan prisoners are released under an amnesty, and Pakistan lawyers go on strike after the killing of their colleague.
RFE/RL Video Roundup - Mar. 18
Russia
# Navanly against sending weapons to Ukraine
# GM to close Russian assembly plant
# "Kant Is a Moron" says graffiti on the philosopher's crumbling house
 
 
Ukraine
# The mysterious "Internet mishap" that sent UK nuclear program data to Ukraine
# "The Making of a Christian Taliban in Ukraine" - Marcin Mamon, Intercept
 
Iraq/Syria
# HRW report says Iraq forces turned on nearby villages after military victory (satellite mages)
# What is "Jihadi John's" role in IS
# You probably won't read this piece about Syria
 
Iran
# Thomas Friedman suggests IS may be only way to stop Iran
# "Don’t Let Iran Off the Hook for Human Rights" - Suzanne Nossel, Foreign Policy 
 
Balkans
# Serbia arrests eight suspected in Srebrenica massacre
 
Afghanistan/Pakistan
# U.S. likely to delay closure of two Afghan bases
Seven killed at governor's compound in Afghanistan
# Can Afghanistan and Pakistan ever get along?
# Pakistan stays controversial execution
 
Central Asia
# Does Iran have a "bridge" to Central Asia?
 
Of Interest
# Infographic: Dollar:other currencies
# Chrome beta to bring push notifications to desktop

The Rundown -- March 18

RFE/RL Video Roundup - March 17i
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March 17, 2015
Iraqi Peshmerga fighters gain ground against Islamic State militants, Kyrgyzstan commemorates the victims of civil unrest, Serbian teachers protest to preserve their salaries, plus stories from Pakistan and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
RFE/RL Video Roundup - March 17
RFE/RL in the Media
Today's Zeman cites RFE/RL interview with German-Turkish leader calling on Ankara to recognize "genocide"
 
Russia
# Russia rules out handing back Crimea, expands war games
# Looming recession unsettling once booming city of Kaluga 
# "Has the Russian System’s Agony Begun?" - Lilia Shevtsova, American Interest 
# Why an American, and the the best woman basketball player in the world, is playing in Russia
 
Ukraine
# Ukraine approve special status law, but separatist leaders say it doesn't meet Minsk demands
# Ukraine scrambles to avoid new unrest after child killed by military vehicle
# Three soldiers killed in eastern Ukraine fighting 
# Crisis taking toll on Ukraine's oligarchs (Akhmetov has lost as much as $5.8 billion)
 
Iraq/Syria
# Iraq's Tikrit offensive stalled by IS bombs
American basketball players gain fans in Iraqi league
# IS vandalizing historic church in Mosul
# IS' "long con" in Syria
 
Iran
Optimism and caution from nuclear negotiators as deadline nears
# UN says Iran oppression of rights, women worse under Rohani
# "Iran, Inequality, and the Battle of American Norms" -  Adam Gopnik, New Yorker 
 
 
Afghanistan/Pakistan
# UN envoy and Russian representative say IS has foothold in Afghanistan
# Is Turkey a target in Afghanistan?
# Pakistan hangs 12 convicts in jails across the country
# Lawyer for man who helped CIA find bin Laden shot dead in Pakistan
 
Caucasus
# Azerbaijan sentences opposition activist to six years in jail
 
Of Interest
# On of the greatest AP corrections ever

The Rundown -- March 17

RFE/RL Video Roundup - Mar. 16i
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March 16, 2015
Christians protest after church massacre in Pakistan, new border restrictions for Russian citizens introduced in Ukraine, efforts to overcome resistance to measles vaccination in Kyrgyzstan, plus stories from Azerbaijan and Bosnia.
RFE/RL Video Roundup - Mar. 16
RFE/RL in the Media
Breitbart cites RFE/RL's Under the Black Flag blog's coverage of intense fighting in Tel Tamir
# Brian Whitmore's coverage of the Kadyrov connection to Nemtsov murder cited in Twin Cities Pioneer Press 
 
 
Russia
# Russian soldiers who served in Crimea speak to Meduza
# Russia's northern fleet put on full alert in the Arctic
 
Ukraine
# Riots in Kostyantynivka after Ukrainian armored vehicle runs over child 
Fighting rages near Donetsk airport despite ceasefire 
 
Iraq/Syria
# IS maintains hold over some parts of Tikrit; Saddam's tomb virtually leveled 
# Assyrian artifacts to be returned to Iraq
# IS allies try to cut off Libya oil revenue
# Anonymous releases list of more than 9,000 IS-linked Twitter accounts
 
Iran
# Saudi Arabia warns Iran deal could start nuclear fuel race 
# An Iran deal could make oil prices even lower
# Iran court sentences son of former president to 15 years
 
Afghanistan/Pakistan
# Afghanistan talks with Taliban coming soon
# "How Obama Handed Afghanistan a Prisoner Dilemma" - Jenifer Fenton, Al Jazeera 
# Impostor posing as ex-Pakistan cricketeer dupes BBC
 
Central Asia
# Tajikistan president's son to lead national anti-corruption agency
 
Caucasus
# Concern in Baku over Russia-Georgia-Armenia transit
 
Of Interest

The Rundown -- March 16

Protest In Baku Against Azerbaijan's Currency Devaluationi
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March 15, 2015
Hundreds of people took part in a rally in Baku on March 15 to protest price hikes and the abrupt devaluation of Azerbaijan's currency -- the manat. The protest, titled "End Robbery" was organized by the National Council of Democratic Forces (NCDF). (RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service)
Protest In Baku Against Azerbaijan's Currency Devaluation
RFE/RL in the Mediab
# Read Daud Khattak in Foreign Policy on the dangers of Taliban peace talks
Breitbart cites RFE/RL on rumors of Putin's whereabouts; Global Post cites Brian Whitmore on the topic 
# Digital Journal op-ed by Ted Lipien criticizes RFE/RL for jumping "on the bandwagon" with Putin rumors
 
Russia
# Putin, in Crimea documentary, says Russia was ready to put nuclear weapons on standbysurprised by how easy it was
# Novaya Gazeta publishes more information on Russian troll farms
# On Seumas Milne's pro-Russian line in the Guardian
 
Ukraine
# Poroshenko submits draft law on self-government for separatist-held areas; also says truce "not working"
# "Bringing Ukraine Back From the Brink" - Natalie Jaresko, Wall Street Journal
 
Iraq/Syria
# IS suffering significant losses in Iraq
# Reports that IS fighters using chlorine as weapons
# Former Spanish hostage tells of torture at hands of IS
 
Iran
# Kerry says deal could be reached in "days"
# Mullen: Iran more dangerous to U.S. than IS
# Netanyahu tried to cancel intelligence briefing for U.S. senators in Israel 
 
Afghanistan/Pakistan
# CIA money from secret fund reportedly ended up in hands of al-Qaida
# Obama administration to leave far more troops than originally planned in Afghanistan
# Deadly blasts hit Pakistan churches in Lahore
 
Balkans
# National mourning in Serbia after helicopter carrying baby crashes
 
Caucasus
# Georgia's "disastrous" attempt to bring prisons to "European standards"
 

 


The Rundown -- March 13

RFE/RL Video Roundup - Mar. 12i
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March 12, 2015
A deadly fire in Tatarstan, Ukrainian soldiers welcomed home, a slain Serbian PM remembered, plus stories from Kyrgyzstan and Pakistan
RFE/RL Video Roundup - Mar. 12
RFE/RL in the Media
Yahoo News uses RFE/RL Ukrainian Service video of soldiers returning home from the front 
Foreign Policy cites RFE/RL report on Nemtsov chief suspect retracting his confession
Atlantic cites RFE/RL rundown of Internet rumors tied to Putin's hiatus from public view 
 
 
Russia
# Navalny says "mood has gotten worse" but still thinks he can make change
# Russia charges alleged mastermind of Novaya Gazeta journalist's murder
# Nemtsov killing exposes cracks in Kremlin unity
# Galeotti: The Kremlin is more than Putin
# "Putin Disappears Like a Dictator" - Leonid Bershidsky, Bloomberg
 
Ukraine
# Reuters speaks to eastern Ukraine villagers who say they saw a missile overhead just before MH17 went down 
Five things about the war in Ukraine
# How Russians "get psyched" before heading to war in Ukraine
 
Iran
# What an Iran deal could look like
# Germany's FM warns of negative effect on Iran talks from letter 
# NYT editorial: Republican Idiocy on Iran
# WSJ editorial: Iran Occupies Iraq
 
Iraq/Syria
# Australian teen believed to be IS suicide bomber in Iraq
# IS ransacking of ancient Assyrian city confirmed by Iraq's head of antiquities
# Canadian intelligence agent allegedly arrested in Turkey and accused of helping IS
# IS accepts Boko Haram pledge of allegiance 
 
Afghanistan/Pakistan
Coming out as trans in Afghanistan
# Secret meetings in Pakistan expose obstacles to Afghanistan peace talks
# "Why Saudi Arabia Needs Pakistan" - Akhilesh Pillalamarri, Diplomat
 
Caucasus
# Azerbaijan arrests four suspected of recruiting militants to fight in Syria 
# Azerbaijan arrests of activists continue in lead up to Euro games
# Putin to attend centenary of mass murder in Armenia 
 
Of Interest
# Google is now letting corporate press releases appear ahead of news stories in news searches

The Rundown -- March 12

RFE/RL Video Roundup - Mar. 11i
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March 11, 2015
Businesses on strike in Pakistan's largest city, EU officials hold talks in Tajikistan, a historical look at money in Kyrgyzstan, and NGOs want electoral changes in Georgia
RFE/RL Video Roundup -- March 11

RFE/RL in the Media

BBC publishes RFE/RL Belarusian Service report on a man investigated for a "blog" written on a fence outside his home
# Natalia Churikova of RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service interviewed on Czech Aktualne TV 
Global Voices cites Golnaz Esfandiari's participation in the Iran Cyber Dialogue conference 
Guardian publishes Bruce Pannier's rundown of Nazarbayev's snap elections 
Washington Post editorial quotes Brian Whitmore on possible Kadyrov connection to Nemtsov killing 
 
Ukraine
# U.S. to send Ukraine drones and more aid
# Azov Battalion fighter says "no more than half" his comrades are Nazis; another says just 10 to 20 percent  
# Spy games "sabotaging" Ukraine's intelligence agency 
# "Russia and Ukraine: Pressure Points Loom" - Catherine Boyle, CNBC 
 
Russia
# Rumors that Putin is ill
# Suspicions that Nemtsov confession made under duress 
# Ketchum quits Russia 
# "Russia Is Hacking Your News Feed" - Leonid Bershidsky, Bloomberg 
 
Iraq/Syria
# Iraq's newest conflict rescues rusting tanks from scrapheap
# U.S.-trained forces investigated for war crimes  (graphic images in ABC report) 
# How IS uses Twitter to recruit women 
 
Iran
# Saudi foreign minister says "Iran is taking over" Iraq
# Saudi nuclear deal raises stakes for talks 
# People still pretty upset over Iran letter
 
Afghanistan/Pakistan
# Probe into rare Kabul mosque shooting
# Pakistan paramilitary force raids headquarters of MQM 
 
Caucasus
# Armenia confirms participation in Euro Games in Azerbaijan 

The Rundown -- March 11

RFE/RL Video Roundup - Mar. 10i
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March 10, 2015
Explosives cleaned up amid cease-fire in Ukraine, ethnic Tatar student wins beauty pageant in Crimea, circus school students perform in Afghanistan, plus stories from Pakistan.
RFE/RL Video Roundup -- March 10
RFE/RL in the Media
Business Insider cites RFE/RL reporting on Russian military flights
 
Russia
# Suspects in Nemtsov murder withdraw confessions -- say they came under duress 
# Russia running out of money for corporate bailouts
# Russia and North Korea declare 2015 a "year of friendship"
 
Ukraine
# U.S. says more Russian tanks and equipment have crossed the Ukraine border; Obama resisting pressure to arm
# NY Times Graphic: Russia's Endgame in Ukraine
 
Eastern Europe
# Belarus wants "dialogue" with North Korea
 
 
Iraq/Syria
# IS airs video of child apparently executing Israeli-Arab man
# IS reportedly uses mock executions to keep hostages on toes
# Large parts of Tikrit seized by Iraqi forces; fears that Shi'ite militias will take vengeance on local populations
 
Iran
# Zarif's response to Republican letter is passive-agressive
# Saudi Arabia preparing behind the scenes for nuclear deal
# Large Iran role in seizure of Tikrit 
 
Afghanistan/Pakistan
# The Arab fighters at war in Afghanistan
# "Afghanistan’s Little Cricket Team That Could" - Andrew Heger, Foreign Policy
# Pakistan ends death penalty moratorium after seven years
 
Caucasus
# Study backs 5th century historian's date for discovering Armenia
# Armenian leaders establish rights award to commemorate centenary of mass killings
# "The Kremlin Pulls on Georgia" - Michael Cecire, Foreign Policy
 
Central Asia
# Russia's army attracts Tajikistan's unemployed
 
Of Interest

The Rundown -- March 10

RFE/RL Video Roundup - Mar. 9i
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March 09, 2015
Questions raised over official investigation of Boris Nemtsov killing in Russia, volunteers use cease-fire to train for war in Ukraine, NATO hands over communications equipment to Afghan army, plus stories from Pakistan and Moldova. (RFE/RL)
RFE/RL Video Roundup - Mar. 9

 

Russia

# Russian opposition doubtful of Islamist motive for Nemtsov killing
# Putin gives Kadyrov an award; Kadyrov goes to a shooting range with his golden gun
# Putin reveals how he ordered annexation of Crimea
# "Putin’s Russia Is in the Grip of Fascism" - Mikhail Iampolski, Newsweek
 
Ukraine
# Poroshenko says separatists have withdrawn significant amounts of heavy weapons
# German ambassador says Obama agreed not to send lethal arms to Ukraine
# Ukrainian soldiers ill-prepared for psychological toll of war
# Mine director said arrested over mine blast in east Ukraine
# "Dancing man" hiding in Kyiv
 
Middle East
# Photos: Coptic Christian families mourn IS victims
# Amman cleaners swap from orange to turquoise to avoid remembering death of Jordanian pilot 
# Path to IS still runs through porous Turkish border
 
Iran
# Republican senators warn Iran in letter that deal may not last
# Biden reacts; as does Daily News
 
Afghanistan/Pakistan
# Marines help coach Afghanistan's first water polo team
# Karzai: Afghanistan in danger of sliding "under thumb" of Pakistan
# Pakistan Justin Bieber fan duo singing their way to fame
 
Balkans
# Kosovo government warns against Milosevic street 
 
Caucasus
# Armenia remittances down sharply
 
Central Asia
# Kyrgyz lawmaker wants to de-Russify Russian names
# Murdered Tajik opposition leader buried in Istanbul
 
Of Interest

The Rundown -- March 3

RFE/RL Video Roundup - Mar. 2i
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March 02, 2015
Kyrgyz politicians honor slain Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, Moldovans commemorate the victims of the Transdniester conflict, and Afghan officials announce sweeping reforms to the police force, plus news from Iraq.
RFE/RL Video Roundup - Mar. 2
RFE/RL in the Media
Edward Lucas cites Brian Whitmore's piece on "hybrid" terror in Russia
# Christiane Amanpour on CNN uses RFE/RL footage of Nadia Savchenko
 
Russia
# Novaya Gazeta speaks to badly injured Russian conscript who explains how he was sent to Ukraine
# Eighteen cameras were by where Nemtsov was shot, but none seem to have captured it
# How much more economic pain can Putin take?
# On the mysterious New York Observer writer smearing the Kremlin's enemies
 
Ukraine
# UN says more than 6,000 have died in Ukraine conflict
Charline Hebdo takes on pro-Russian separatists
 
Eastern Europe
# Russia restores access for Moldovan apples
 
Iraq/Syria
# Iraq launches attack to retake Tikrit
# IS reportedly loses more than 20 villages in Syria
# IS threatens Twitter founder and employees 
# U.S. general: IS losing in Iraq, but not sure if Baghdad is ready to win
 
Iran
# Obama says Iran must halt nuclear work for at least a decade 
# U.S. journalist allowed to hire lawyer after seven months in Iran jail
# "The Strategic Genius of Iran’s Supreme Leader" - Ray Takeyh, Washington Post
# Iranian airline passengers are mad
 
 
Afghanistan/Pakistan
# NYT long-read: Afghan women's shelters provide "thin line of defense against 'honor killings'"
# The "complicated" relationship between Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Taliban
# Hundreds of anti-vaccine parents arrested in Pakistan
 
Caucasus
# Debate in Armenia swirls over how to take care of disabled babies

The Rundown -- March 2

Tens Of Thousands Join Moscow Nemtsov Marchi
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March 01, 2015
Tens of thousands of people joined a march through Moscow following the killing of prominent opposition leader Boris Nemtsov. Many carried portraits of Nemtsov, Russian flags, and banners reading "I am not afraid." Nemtsov was a strong critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and some of his allies have accused the Kremlin of being involved in his killing. (RFE/RL's Russian Service)
Tens Of Thousands Join Moscow Nemtsov March
RFE/RL in the Media
Tweets from Tom Balmforth and me used in MashableBreitbart reports on Nemtsov march in Moscow
ViceNews cites RFE/RL reporting on Savchenko hunger strike
Newsweek cites Arslan Saidov and Claire Bigg's report on Ukraine student video address to Russians
Washington Post editorial highlights Azerbaijan's pressure on RFE/RL
 
Read on Nemtsov
# "The Russia That Died With Boris Nemtsov" - Leonid Bershidsky, Bloomberg
# "Murder, Even in Russia, is Always a Shock" - Miriam Elder, Buzzfeed
 
Russia
# Tens of thousands participate in somber Moscow marchphotos
# Moscow floats lots of conspiracy theories
# Ukrainian lawmaker detained during march
# What Russia's "patriotic bloggers" have to say
# Activists want to save two blind, alcoholic bears held for 20 years in a garbage-strewn cage in Sochi
 
Ukraine
# Ukrainian photographer killed in fighting
# Ukraine unofficially has 272 percent inflation
 
Iraq/Syria
# Iraqi state TV says operation to free Tikrit has begun
# Iraq's national museum opens after 12 years
# Iraq PM offers ultimatum for Sunni tribal fighters to abandon IS
# For Syrian Armenians, exodus evokes flight from a century ago
 
Iran
# "Danger Ahead for Obama on Iran" - Jeffrey Goldberg, Atlantic 
# Iran says it's ready to open up to internet firms "if they accept our cultural rules"
# Iran offers to protect Iraq artifacts
 
Afghanistan/Pakistan
# Vulnerable families bear the brunt of Norway's crackdown on asylum seekers
# Afghan policewomen struggle against culture
# Afghans in Pakistan: Their home and heart belong here
 
Central Asia
# Tajikistan votes amid pressure on opposition
 
Balkans
# U.S. may deport as many as 150 Bosnians expected in war crimes

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
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