Thursday, January 29, 2015


Communications / The Rundown

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
 

The Rundown -- January 28

RFE/RL Video Roundup - Jan. 27i
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January 27, 2015
Commandos train teachers at a Pakistani women's college to use handguns against terrorists, Armenian small business owners protest lower taxes, Afghans demonstrate against Charlie Hebdo cartoons -- plus stories on Holocaust Remembrance Day in Serbia, Moldova, and Georgia.
RFE/RL Video Roundup - January 27
RFE/RL in the Media
# In the Guardian, Murad Gassanly suggests a less hostile approach in dealing with Azerbaijan to encourage release prisoners like Khadija Ismayilova 
# Pre-trial detention of Ismayilova covered by ReutersSoros presses Azerbaijan to loosen crackdown
Washington Post cites Yelena Polyakovskaya's interview with an Auschwitz liberator 
Yahoo News covers interview by RFE/RL's Radio Farda of woman who survived Auschwitz because of a clerical error
Buzzfeed links RFE/RL feature about Russia-Ukraine/Poland Auschwitz fight
 
Russia
# New Greek PM denounces EU Council statement blaming Russia for violence in eastern Ukraine; new Greek FM pictured with Dugin; defense chief with Pushkov in January
# EU likely to consider further sanctions at a summit next month
# Russian weight loss club proposes Siege of Leningrad diet
# The boring life of a Russian spy in the United States
# "Remember Russia? It’s Still Doomed" - Matt O'Brien, Washington Post
 
Ukraine
# Separatists make more advances in Donetsk suburbs
# "Save the New Ukraine" - Bernard-Henri Levy and George Soros, New York Times
# Video: Vice News on the civilians caught in between the fighting
 
Iraq/Syria
# Canada's troops keep getting into firefights in Iraq
# Map: How the flow of foreign fighters to Iraq and Syria has surged since October
# Kurdish protectors vow to keep their 'Jerusalem'
# "Our Man in Damascus" - Wall Street Journal
 
Iran
# Menendez urges delay in his Iran sanctions legislation
# Iran says it warned Israel about "revenge" through U.S. diplomatic channels
# "The Netanyahu Disaster" - Jeffrey Goldberg, Atlantic
# Falling oil prices draining Rohani's political capital
 
Afghanistan/Pakistan
# Ahmadis no longer finding refuge in Sri Lanka
# What Pakistan makes of the Obama-Modi chemistry
 
Caucasus
# OSCE calls on Armenia and Azerbaijan to cease hostilities
 
Central Asia
Black cars reportedly banned by customs officials in Turkmenistan
# Kazakhstan strains reserves to smooth way for gradual devaluation
 
Of Interest
# "How The Language Police Are Perverting Liberalism" - Jonathan Chait, New York 

The Rundown -- January 27

RFE/RL Video Roundup - Jan. 26i
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January 26, 2015
Russian security forces raid the only Tatar-language TV station in Crimea, a former senior Kazakh official is escorted from the courtroom after saying corruption charges against him are politically motivated, Moldovans protest against the role of the Communist Party in support of a minority, pro-European government, plus stories from Armenia, Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan. (RFE/RL)
RFE/RL Video Roundup - Jan. 26
Ukraine
# Separatists record scenes tormenting detainees and possible evidence of summary executions
# Economist: This is war and there's no going back
# Ukraine losing war on three fronts
# Putin says "foreign NATO legion" in Ukraine as Russian-backed separatists advance
# U.S. military trainers headed to Ukraine 
 
Russia
# Three men busted in spy ring; Russian state owned media involved, but RT says "definitely not" it 
# S&P downgrades Russian credit rating to junk; why it may be the perfect time to invest
# "The Campaign Against Leviathan" - Masha Lipman, New Yorker 
 
Eastern Europe
# Belarus to "de-Russify" schools
 
Iraq/Syria
# Kurdish militia says it has gained full control over Kobani
# Foreign Affairs interviews Assad 
# Iraqi "sleeper cells" said to be helping to fight IS
# Meet the woman IS wants to exchange for a Japanese hostage
 
Iran
# Ex-CIA officer convicted on all counts of leaking details on efforts to thwart Iran to New York Times reporter
# Argentina's "insane political scandal" explained
 
Afghanistan/Pakistan
# USAID suspends its largest nonprofit contractor in Iraq and Afghanistan
# IS statement announces expansion to "Khorasan"
# Pakistan's angry middle class
# Following Peshawar massacre, teachers bringing guns to school
# How Pakistan and China are covering Obama's visit to India
 
Caucasus
# "Eight Things That Don’t Add Up about the Gyumri Murders" - Marianna Grigoryan, Eurasianet
 
Balkans
Five indicted in Kosovo on terrorism charges 
# OSCE condemns attack on journalists covering protest in Kosovo
 
Of Interest
# Obama's "troubling" allies

The Rundown -- January 26

Fighting At A Ukrainian Army Checkpoint In Eastern Ukrainei
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January 25, 2015
Firefights broke out at a Ukrainian army checkpoint between the cities of Donetsk and Luhansk. On January 24, the 40th Battalion's 17th Tank Brigade came under attack at Debaltseve from the direction of Luhansk. (RFE/RL Ukrainian Service correspondent Levko Stek).
Fighting At A Ukrainian Army Checkpoint In Eastern Ukraine
RFE/RL in the Media
Guardian features Daisy Sindelar's My Ukraine, Memory and Identity
Washington Post and Yahoo News use RFE/RL Afghan Service video of Charlie Hebdo protests 
 
Ukraine
# War is back in full in Ukraine as separatists shell Mariupol; why the city is important
# UN to hold emergency session Monday
# "Why War Has Exploded Again in Ukraine" - Christopher Miller, Mashable
# Kyiv Post says Ukraine drastically under-reporting its own casualties 
 
Russia
# Washington, Berlin warn of further sanctions following renewal of violence in eastern Ukraine
# Pavel Felgenhauer: Putin's aim is to destroy Ukraine's independence, defeat West
# Russian state news agencies cutting costs
 
Greece vote
# Radical leftist party wins and announces coalition with right wing; "on collision course with Europe
# Party had railed against Russia sanctions
 
Iraq/Syria/Turkey
# With one hostage believed beheaded, Japanese government may be conflicted about whether to negotiate with IS
# White House accidentally names American woman held by IS
# "A General’s Apology for Iraq & Afghanistan" - James Warren, Daily Beast
# Video: U.S. military advisers don't rule out heading to front lines
# The king of Turkey's social media imams 
 
Iran
# Zarif called to parliament for taking a walk with Kerry
# Netanyahu defends planned address to Congress as way to stop nuclear deal
# Israel said to send message to Iran via Russia
# Iran protests "ineligible" Iraq player at Asian Cup match
 
Afghanistan/Pakistan
# A family holiday in Afghanistan
# The first Pashto-Chinese dictionary 
# Massive power failure plunges 80 percent of Pakistan into darkness
# Head of group linked to 2008 Mumbai attacks speaks publicly at anti-Charlie Hebdo protests 
 
Of Interest
# Modi's wife has only met him twice
Top challenges facing digital audio in 2015
# How Mashable used Snapchat in 2014

The Rundown -- January 23

RFE/RL Video Roundup - Jan.22i
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January 22, 2015
Afghan religious scholars condemn the depiction of the Prophet Muhammad in a French magazine, internally displaced people in Pakistan protest about their living conditions, an Iraqi police chief takes journalists on a tour of an area that was retaken from militants last fall, plus stories from Pakistan and Tajikistan.
RFE/RL Video Roundup - Jan.22
RFE/RL in the Media
# Golnaz Esfandiari's story about Iran destroying thousands of satellites picked up by Business Insider and Vice
Yahoo News uses RFE/RL Afghan service video of Kabul protests against Charlie Hebdo 
 
Russia
# Russian legislator says Russians should eat less to compensate for rising food prices
# Russia moves forward with Turkey gas pipeline
# Putin's inner circle is shrinking as he becomes suspicious of disenchanted oligarchs
# Washington Post: Ukraine should not just be a "hiccup" in relations with Russia
 
Ukraine
# Pro-Russian forces gaining ground as mortar hits Donetsk city bus, airport cleared and Ukrainian "cyborgs" forced to march in Donetsk
# "The Death of Ukraine’s Cyborg Army" - James Miller and Pierre Vaux, Foreign Policy
# At Davos, Poroshenko struggles to woo foreign investors
 
Iraq/Syria/Saudi Arabia
# King Abdullah dies; successor may have dementia
# Ambassador says air strikes have killed more than half of IS' leadership
# U.S. and Iraq are preparing summer offensive to retake Mosul
# Japanese hostage deadline passes as IS says it will soon make statement
 
Iran
# Khamenei's open letter to Western youth about Islam
# Transcripts from Argentine phone calls detail efforts to shield Iran
# Mossad, breaking ranks with Netanyahu, tells U.S. sanctions will kill Iran nuclear deal
 
Afghanistan/Pakistan
# On chances for IS success in making inroads in Afghanistan
# Bloomberg says China can help end Afghanistan war
# Pakistan wants Afghan refugees to go home
 
Caucasus
# Russian soldier pleads guilty in Gyumri massacre
 
Of Interest
# New York Times Twitter lessons

The Rundown -- January 21

RFE/RL Video Roundup -- Jan. 20i
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January 20, 2015
Armenians mourn a six-month-old boy stabbed in an attack that stunned the country, Afghan cabinet nominees appear in parliament for a vote of confidence, hundreds demonstrate in Kyrgyzstan against depictions of the Prophet Muhammad in a French magazine, plus stories from Macedonia, Iraq, and Pakistan.
RFE/RL Video Roundup -- Jan. 20
RFE/RL in the Media
HRW says Merkel should call on Aliyev to release Khadija Ismayilova and others in her meeting with Azerbaijan's president
 
A coup in Yemen?
# Houthis call for power-sharing deal after storming presidential palace
# The crisis explained in four questions
# Why Yemen constantly appears to be in the middle of a coup
# War on al-Qaeda threatened
 
Russia
# Russia and Iran sign military cooperation agreement
# Russia sounds alarm as Lake Baikal's water levels drop
# Russian Duma passes first reading of law banning "undesirable foreign organizations
 
Ukraine
# New round of peace talks today in Germany; perhaps renewed fighting is just diplomatic maneuvering 
# Separatists claim to be building air force by raiding museums
# Some 150 people have been dismissed as prosecutors under lustration laws
 
Iraq/Syria
# Obama's SOTU proposal for use of force resolution lacks specifics so far
# IS has executed "scores" this month says U.N. 
# Could IS actions against Japanese hostages lead to change in Japan's pacifist constitution?
# Why what we call IS matters
 
Iran
# Iran warns football players not to take selfies with female fans abroad
# Questions mount in Argentine prosecutor's suicide
 
Afghanistan/Pakistan
# Girls in Afghanistan "skateboarding their way to empowerment
# HRW says violence and intimidation against journalists in Pakistan is rising
# Pakistan's cross-dressing men
# Pakistan Charlie Hebdo protesters call for "another hallow cost"
 
Central Asia
# The case for Almaty to host the winter Olympics
 
Caucasus
# Head of Russian investigative agency says Gyumri suspect will be tried in Armenia (but doesn't specify by whom)
# "Armenia Can't Count on Russia Any More" - Richard Giragosian, Al Jazeera
# Turkey calls for "new beginning" with Armenia
 
Balkans
# Macedonia passes same-sex marriage ban
 

The Rundown -- January 20

RFE/RL Video Roundup -- Jan. 19i
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January 19, 2015
Fuel shortages create havoc in Pakistan, Moldovans protest as their currency plummets, a Kazakh magazine editor launches a hunger strike, and Orthodox Christians celebrate Epiphany in Kyrgyzstan and Serbia.
RFE/RL Video Roundup -- Jan. 19
 
Russia
# MTS to introduce competitor product to WhatsApp and Skype
# Russia ends cooperation with the U.S. on securing nuclear stockpiles
# Tens of thousands march against Charlie Hebdo in Grozny
# "'Leviathan' Controversy Reveals Bruised Egos" - Natalia Antonova, Moscow Times
 
Ukraine
# Explosion in Kharkiv injures 14
# Amnesty calls on both sides to refrain from putting civilians in danger
# Things "may have gotten worse" for Ukraine's LGBT community since Euromaidan
 
Iraq/Syria
# IS demands $200 million within 72 hours for two Japanese hostages 
# Canadian troops in gun battle with IS militants 
 
Iran
Suspicion high as Argentinian prosecutor dies from gunshot just a day before testimony on Iran-linked 1990s bombing
# Israel-linked strike kills top Hizbollah fighter and Iranian general
Lavish malls appearing in Iran to attract elite
 
Afghanistan/Pakistan
# Turkey to increase troops in Afghanistan
# Britney Spears' ex killed in Taliban attack
# Pakistan tops the list as the most porn-searching country in the world, according to Salon
# Pakistan prosecutors face routine threats in terror cases 
 
Caucasus
# Six-month-old dies from wounds in massacre suffered last week
 
Balkans
# Kosovo backs off bid to claim mine
 
Of Interest

The Rundown -- January 19

RFE/RL in the Media
# Read Arzu Geybullayeva in Al Jazeera on "what is not being reported in Azerbaijan" 
Vice and Breitbart cite Claire Bigg's reporting on Russian official quitting Culture Ministry 
Breitbart cites Under the Black Flag blog for story on IS roof executions
The Independent cites RFE/RL on protests in Ingushetia against Charlie Hebdo cartoons
Washington Post and AJ+ use RFE/RL Armenian Service video of protests in Gyumri
 
Ukraine
# Ukrainian forces say they have recaptured most of Donetsk Airport after largest offensive in months
# Putins spokesman claims he had offered to pull out heavy weapons
# Kremlin advisor says "full scale war" could be coming
# "Putin Is in No Hurry to Resolve Ukraine Crisis" - Vladimir Frolov, "Moscow Times" 
 
Russia
# Roman Abramovich is buying a block of New York City real estate to build a mansion, according to the New York Post
 
Eastern Europe
# Lithuania Defense Ministry to distribute manual to citizens on how to handle Russian invasion
 
Iraq/Syria
# IS releases about 250 Yazidi hostages, mostly elderly and children (video)
# Lack of political reconciliation in Iraq risks gains for IS
# "ISIS Aims to Occupy Mecca" - William Young, Newsweek
 
Iran
# "Limited" progress at nuclear talks in Geneva
# Senate looks to move ahead on Iran sanctions bill
 
Afghanistan/Pakistan
# Official confirms IS presence in Afghanistan
# More Afghanistan arrests over Pakistan school massacre
# A student tells of his return to school following the Peshawar attack
Anti-Charlie rally in Pakistan draws 5,000
 
Central Asia
# The nine countries threatened by Russia's ruble crisis
 
Caucasus
# Armenia rejects Turkish invitation to Gallipoli ceremony, noting it falls on day of genocide remembrance
 
Of Interest
# Miss Lebanon says Miss Israel photo-bombed her

The Rundown -- January 16

RFE/RL Video Roundup -- Jan. 15i
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January 15, 2015
Family allegedly slain by Russian soldier buried in Armenia, Pakistani parliamentarians protest Muhammad cartoons, Kyrgyz car dealers unhappy with new import taxes required for Customs Union, plus stories from Tajikistan, Afghanistan, and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
RFE/RL Video Roundup -- Jan. 15

 

RFE/RL in the Media
 
France24 uses RFE/RL Armenian service video of protests in Gyumri 
 
Russia
# Group of Russian "patriots" formed to "defend" Russia from protesters
# The CIA tweets in Russian
# Russia warns media they will be blacklisted for publishing Charlie Hebdo 
# "Russian Sanctions: Are We There Yet?" - Robert Kahn, Newsweek
 
Ukraine
# Human Rights Watch head says test for reformed Ukraine will be recognizing human rights' violations in east
# On the civilians caught in between the fight for the ruined Donetsk airport
# Ukraine continues to add foreigners to its government
 
Eastern Europe
# Kerry promises to help Bulgaria reduce its dependence on Russia for energy
 
Iraq/Syria
# "Iraq's Top Shiite Cleric Thrown Into Heart of Politics" - Hamaza Hendawi and Qassim Abdul-Zahra, AP 
# Pentagon to deploy 400 troops to train Syrian rebels
# Nusra releases two Italian woman who had been held since last July
# Former House Intel chair says there should be a "discussion" about Turkey's roll in NATO
 
Iran
# Obama and Menendez spar over Iran
# Is Hizbollah going broke?
 
Afghanistan/Pakistan
# Powerful bloc left out of key cabinet posts in new Afghanistan government
# Can a Singapore-style anti-corruption campaign work in Afghanistan?
# Kabul arrests five militants suspected of role in Pakistan school attack
# Pakistani lawmakers march, chant "death to blasphemers" in response to Charlie Hebdo cartoons
 
Central Asia
# Tajikistan human rights lawyer jailed for nine years
 
Caucasus
# Hundreds protest in Armenia as prosecutor promises to ask Russians to turn over alleged murderer 
# Azerbaijan legislators hold hearing on human rights situation in the U.S. 
Trial of rights activist Jafarov begins in Azerbaijan
 
Balkans
# Serbian PM visits Kosovo 
 
Of Interest

The Rundown -- January 15

RFE/RL Video Roundup -- Jan. 14i
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January 14, 2015
Mourning parents protest Pakistani opposition leader, people protest electricity hikes in Kyrgyzstan, university students protest reforms in Macedona, plus stories from Tajikistan and Pakistan.
RFE/RL Video Roundup -- Jan. 14
RFE/RL in the Media
Guardian reprints RFE/RL's "Letters from Donbas"
Daily Show cites RFE/RL on Russia's treatment of journalists (5:20)
International Business Times cites RFE/RL on alleged execution by IS child soldier
 
Russia
# Russia trying to prosecute those who "deserted" Soviet army during breakup of USSR
EU not happy with Russian plan to move gas route to Turkey
# Mogherini seen as proposing "business as usual" with Russia
# Kadyrov explained in 19 Instagram posts
 
Ukraine
# Poroshenko orders partial mobilization; Kyiv says new round of peace talks to come soon
# Could trauma in France and Ukraine lead to "European reawakening?"
 
Iraq/Syria
# IS gaining ground in Syria despite U.S. strikes
# Saudi Arabia building "great wall" along border with Iraq
# Iraq says U.S. not doing enough to fight IS
# Why IS used a child soldier for an execution video
 
Iran
# Detained Washington Post journalist reportedly indicted; tells mother he needs a "head doctor"
# Congress to push ahead with Iran sanctions
# "How Foreign Policy Hawks Empowered Iran" - Colin Friedersdorg, Atlantic 
 
Afghanistan/Pakistan
# China exploring roll of "peacemaker" in Afghanistan
# "Afghanistan: Taliban in Transition?" - Colin Cookman, USIP
Prayer service held in Peshawar for Kouachi brothers
# Pakistani schoolboys' heartbreaking before and after photos
 
Caucasus
# Thousands protest in Armenia after killing by Russian soldier
 
Of Interest
 
 

The Rundown -- January 14

RFE/RL Video Roundup - Jan. 13i
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January 13, 2015
John Kerry backs Pakistan's antiterror operations, Lithuanians and Georgians commemorate a Soviet military crackdown, and Tajikistan jails a prominent opposition lawyer, plus stories from Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.
RFE/RL Video Roundup - Jan. 13
RFE/RL in the Media
Breitbart cites RFE/RL on Russian conspiracy theories surrounding Paris attacks
ABC cites RFE/RL infographic on foreign fighters in Iraq and Syria
 
Ukraine
# Shell hits bus, killing 12 civilians, at Ukrainian checkpoint as fighting intensifies to highest level in monthssummit called off 
# Rebels apparently originally bragged about checkpoint attack on social media
# Scandal erupts as lawmakers say changes made to budget after vote
# U.S. to back $2 billion in loan guarantees for Ukraine
 
Russia
# Russia says EU Russian language channel runs counter to free speech
# Medvedev suggests meeting "regularly" on the economy
# Prokhorov exploring sale of Nets
# Frontline documentary by Karen Dawisha: Putin's Way
# Russians vacationing in Sochi instead of Switzerland
 
Iraq/Syria
What's next in the anti-IS campaign?
# France votes to extend airstrikes against IS in Iraq
 
Iran
# Video game based on ancient story seeks audiences in Iran
# Shi'ite leader calls for forbidding insults against Sunnis
 
Afghanistan/Pakistan
# IS reportedly fighting Taliban in southern Afghanistan; and the shadowy figures recruiting
# Facing intolerance, many Sikhs and Hindus leaving Afghanistan
# Ghani and Abdullah report card after first 100 days
# The dangers of going to school in Pakistan
 
Central Asia
# Tajikistan jails prominent human rights lawyer
# Kazakh child executes two "Russian spies" in horrific IS-produced video
 

The Rundown -- January 13

RFE/RL Video Roundup - Jan. 12i
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January 12, 2015
Armenian police search for a Russian soldier suspected of mass murder, schools reopen in Pakistan's restive Peshawar, Kazakh journalists march for their rights, and Iraqis show solidarity with the victims of the Paris magazine attack.
RFE/RL Video Roundup - Jan. 12

RFE/RL in the Media

# Daud Khan in Foreign Policy on whether Pakistan can deal with terrorism 
Moscow Times uses Maryana Drach's Twitter reporting for story on offended Russian woman in Prague
Newsweek cites RFE/RL reporting on Leviathan winner 
Washington Post obituary for John Richardson Jr., RFE/RL president from 1961 to 1969
 
Russia
# Top Russian ruble forecaster sees fresh run at record low 
# Filmmaker says FSB asked Snowden to spy for Russia only "once"
# Kadyrov has been publicly threatening a lot of people recently
# "Russia's Foreign Policy Is Full of Contradictions" - Mark Adomanis, Moscow Times 
 
Ukraine
Little progress made at four-hour Berlin meeting
# Yanukovych placed on Interpol list
# Ukraine's hard currency reserves suffered biggest fall since Soviet era in 2014 
# "The Russian Military in the Ukraine Crisis" - Dmitri Trenin, Carnegie 
 
Eastern Europe
# Belarus may start talks on visa-free EU travel 
# Belarus ruble may head back to record lows 
 
Iraq/Syria/Turkey
# IS "CyberCaliphate" hacks CENTCOM social media; but it's probably not a big deal 
# IS members like posting pictures of their kids on Twitter
# Erdogan welcomes Abbas with 16 warriors 
 
Iran
# Iran "eclipses U.S." as Iraq's ally in fighting 
# Power urges Congress not to pursue Iran sanctions 
 
Afghanistan/Pakistan
# Afghanistan government nominates cabinet 
# Afghanistan unable to track, pay police 
# "ISIS Targets Afghanistan Just as the U.S. Quits" - Sami Yousafzai and Chritopher Dickey, Daily Beast
# Pakistan schools reopen for the first time since December massacre  
 
Central Asia
# "Kyrzbekistan Isn't Funny" - Leonid Bershidsky, Bloomberg 
 
Caucasus
# Russian soldier suspected of killing family of six in Armenia 
# Amal Clooney takes on Armenia genocide case at European court 
 
Of Interest
# A teenager wrote about social media and the Internet reacted 
# The news app that works like Tinder  
# Saudi Prince: $100 a barrel will never happen again
# Some of the world leaders who came to the Paris march don't support free speech at home

The Rundown -- January 12

World Leaders March In Paris To Honor Terror Victimsi
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January 11, 2015
Dozens of world leaders joined an estimated 1 million marchers in the French capital to honor the victims of last week's terror attacks. The Paris unity march included relatives of the 17 victims of the attacks by radical Islamists against the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, a French policewoman, and a Jewish supermarket. (Reuters)
World Leaders March In Paris To Honor Terror Victims

RFE/RL in the Media

# New York Times editorial on Azerbaijan's crackdown calls for tougher Western response
# Azerbaijan government "critic" writes in Washington Post letter that RFE/RL "has abandoned its principles of objective journalism" 
Independent cites RFE/RL Azerbaijani service's reporting on brutal attack on journalist
# Carl Schreck's reporting on new restrictions against some LGBT drivers cited in Washington PostDaily News and Carscoops 
 
Ukraine
# Kazakhstan summit now unlikely to take place  as conflict escalates again
# Stoltenberg says "fewer clashes" in general in eastern Ukraine
# More than $1 billion in real estate assets have been seized by Crimean government
# New report by Germany investigative group claims it proves Russian-operated Buk shot down MH17 
 
Russia
# Leviathan wins Golden Globe
# Former rebel leaders in Russia now call Novorossia a fantasy
 
Iraq/Syria
# Iraq PM says country may need three years to restructure and rebuild military
# U.S. Joint Chiefs chair says Iran role in Iraq might be positive
 
Iran
# Kerry and Zarif reportedly exploring ways to speed up nuclear talks
# Geneva nuclear talks to test Iran's flexibility 
 
Afghanistan/Pakistan
# Rally in support of Paris attackers in southern Afghanistan
# Afghan experts pin little hope on Pashtun Pakistani officials' Kabul tour
# "Islamic State Adds to Terror In Afghanistan" - Margerita Stancati and Habib Khan Totakhil, Wall Street Journal
# Ex-Pakistan Taliban members join IS group, behead man
 
Balkans
# Serbian PM accuses EU of backing anti-government media
 
Central Asia
# Kazakhstan sends $400,000 in humanitarian aid to eastern Ukraine
# Ethnic-Russian in Kazakhstan charged with "inciting ethnic hatred" for Facebook posts
 
Of Interest
# To be a French Jew/Muslim

The Rundown -- January 9

RFE/RL Video Roundup - Jan. 8i
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January 08, 2015
Journalists across the region hold memorials for the victims of an attack on French magazine Charlie Hebdo, Afghans protest against a visit by a pro-Taliban cleric, and Pakistani displaced people demand government aid, plus stories from Moldova, Kazakhstan, and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
RFE/RL Video Roundup - Jan. 8
RFE/RL in the Media
New York Times op-ed by Joshua Kucera on events at RFE/RL's Baku bureau; Azerbaijan rejects criticism in Bloomberg
Mashable cites and re-creates RFE/RL infographic on foreign fighters in Iraq and Syria
Business Insider cites RFE/RL on dwindling migrant workforce
 
 
Paris attacks
# Europe's far-right lashes out after attacks 
JeSuisAhmed hashtag takes off for slain police officer
# "Je Suis Charlie (Until Je Get Scared)"- Michael Weiss, Foreign Policy
# Times public editor not sure if the images should be published
 
Russia
# Russia to deny drivers licenses to transgender people
# Merkel says Russia sanctions must stay until all tenets of Minsk agreement met
# Latvia says Russia has sent "some signals" it is more willing to engage
# "Why Russia’s Evangelicals Thank God for Putin" - Mark Elliot, Christianity Today
# Meet Russia's 369 Kremlin-registered bloggers
 
Ukraine
# EU proposes $2 billion in financial support for Ukraine; but it's unlikely to be enough
# Bershidsky: Soros's terrible plan
# Ukraine on the verge of "humanitarian catastrophe
 
Iraq/Syria
# What U.S. airstrikes have hit in one graphic
# Assad has killed far more people than IS
 
Iran
# Iran-backed militias are getting U.S. weapons
# The U.S. may leverage cyber-weapons in nuclear talks
 
Afghanistan/Pakistan
# "Protecting the Gains in Afghanistan" - Candace Karp and Michael O'Hanlon, Wall Street Journal 
# "Afghanistan: Unaccomplished Mission, Uncertain Future" - Pir-Mohammad Mollazehi, Iran Review 
# Afghanistan and Pakistan display rare cooperation in hunt for Pakistani Taliban leader
 
Central Asia
# New York Times makes up new Central Asian country
 
Of Interest

The Rundown -- January 8

RFE/RL Video Roundup - Jan. 7i
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January 07, 2015
Protests against planned medical reforms and infrastructure privatization in Pakistan, plus Orthodox Christmas in Serbia, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan and the Russian republic of Tatarstan. (RFE/RL)
RFE/RL Video Roundup - January 7
RFE/RL in the Media
# Azerbaijan Ambassador to U.S. writes in letter to Wall Street Journal that RFE/RL journalists are being questioned for "documented" financial mismanagement 
# RFE/RL Uzbek Service cited in Al Jazeera story on torture in Uzbek jails
The Blaze features RFE/RL's world populations infographic
 
 
Paris attacks
Twelve political cartoons that respond to the attack
# News outlets struggling with whether to print controversial cartoons
 
Russia
# Pushkov says attacks prove Russia not a threat; Russian Orthodox activist says it was deserved
# Number of migrants drops 70 percent as ruble falls
# Russian reserves no longer enough to cover external debt 
# "Russia's European Home" - Vladislav Inozemtsev, Project Syndicate
 
Ukraine
# Anti-Ukraine group claims responsibility for cyberattacks in Germany 
# The Ukraine frontline in photos
# "A New Policy to Rescue Ukraine" - George Soros, New York Review of Books
# "The Search for Petr Khokhlov" - Joshua Yaffa, New York Times
 
Iraq/Syria
# In Iraq, Shi'ite fighters purging Sunni villages
# Iraq Ebola rumors almost certainly are not true
# U.S. investigating possible civilian casualties from airstrikes
 
Iran
# Iraq MP credits Iran with saving Baghdad from falling to IS
# "What an Iranian Funeral Tells Us About the Wars in Iraq" - Reza HaghighatNejad, Daily Beast
# "It’s Time to Pursue Regime Change in Iran" - John Hannah, Foreign Policy
 
Afghanistan/Pakistan
# Four reasons the war in Afghanistan isn't really over
# Deadly boom in counterfeit medicine in Afghanistan
# Ghani getting credit in Afghanistan for "new tone"
# Pakistan domestic threats begin to overshadow India
 
Caucasus
# Tony Blair adds Azerbaijan to his portfolio 
 
Of Interest
# Is English as the lingua franca hurting science?

The Rundown -- January 7

RFE/RL Video Roundup - Jan. 6i
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January 06, 2015
Parliament approves the use of military courts against terror suspects in Pakistan, journalists highlight an attack on the media in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and counting stray dogs in Georgia. (RFE/RL)
RFE/RL Video Roundup - January 6

RFE/RL in the Media

Huffington Post on "Ten Days in the Life of Ilham Aliyev, President of Absurdistan"
# The Guardian reports on Khaled Hosseini joining calls to release Azerbaijani writer Khadija Ismayilova
# The Guardian reports that some compare Russia's Sputnik to VOA and RFE/RL 
Washington Times cites RFE/RL reporting on Putin decree allowing foreigners to serve as military contractors 
 
Russia
# "How Russians Are Sent to Fight in Ukraine" - James Rupert, Newsweek 
Putin's lobbyists in Washington
# Fourth Russian general commits suicide in less than a year
# Attackers storm gay nightclub in southern Russia
# Russia isn't paying its national football coach
 
Ukraine
# Ukraine's approval of Russia's leadership dives almost 90 percent
# "The War Came to Me" - Christopher Miller, Mashable 
# "Can This Man Save Ukraine's Economy?" - Leonid Bershidsky, Bloomberg
 
Iraq/Syria/Turkey
# Turkey detains Dutch journalist on same day as Dutch FM is in town
# The anatomy of conspiracy theories
# Senior IS official beheaded
# "ISIS Is Losing Its Greatest Weapon: Momentum" - Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, Atlantic
 
Iran
# Hardliners strike back at Rohani
# Weekly Standard proposes Republican Iran sanctions strategy
 
Afghanistan/Pakistan
# Afghans encouraged to get last names
# Thousands flee Kashmir amid heavy shelling
# Lawmakers pass constitutional amendment allowing military tribunals for Islamic militants 
 
Caucasus
# Armenia tries to keep foot in West
# Gunfire "daily reality" in Azerbaijan and Armenia conflict zone
 
Of Interest

The Rundown -- January 6

RFE/RL Video Roundup - Jan. 5i
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January 05, 2015
A suicide bombing targets EU police in Kabul, Belarusians attend the funeral of a prominent government critic, and a landslide wreaks havoc in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
RFE/RL Video Roundup - Jan. 5

Russia

# Navalny cuts off monitoring bracelet 
# Hollande calls for lifting Russia sanctions if progress is made and says there should be no new sanctions; Germany deputy chancellor also warns against more 
# Russian hedge fund boss vanishes, sparking chaos 
# Galeotti says 2016 is year Putin could begin to lose power
 
Ukraine
# Another mysterious bombing in Odesa 
# Russian woman charged with "inciting ethnic hatred" for linking to Ukraine documentaries 
 
Eastern Europe
# Belarus and Turkmenistan devalue currencies
 
Iraq/Syria
# Financial Times: People begin to tire of IS "government"
# Three Saudi guards killed in suicide, gun attack on Iraq border
# Are IS leaders giving fighters Cocaine?
# "Meet The Oil Engineer ISIS Wanted To Hire" - Mike Giglio, Buzzfeed
 
Iran
# Three would-be IS fighters reportedly arrested trying to cross Iran border
 
Afghanistan/Pakistan
# The Afghan man who carries the dead
# U.S. sticks by withdrawal plans despite Ghani's call to review deadline
# Pakistan grants stay on execution after rights group say accused was tortured
# India and Pakistan trade accusations about Kashmir border killings
 
Of Interest

The Rundown -- January 5

RFE/RL in the Media

# In Boston Globe Martha Bayles and Jeffrey Gedmin call on CIA to ban covert funding of journalists and mention RFE/RL's CIA beginnings 
Daily Mail uses RFE/RL's Under the Black flag blog in report on IS propaganda
Washington Times cites RFE/RL's Caucasus Report on insurgent commanders in Russia pledging allegiance to IS
# Alan Hell's Washington Post letter to the editor cites dangers faced by RFE/RL and VOA journalists
 
Russia
# Russian footballer shot and killed in North Caucasus 
# U.S. and Russia on verge of returning to era of nuclear rivalry
# "Five Ways Russia Can Regroup" - Nikolai Gosdev, National Interest
# Bershidsky: Putin's Russia on verge of outright dictatorship
 
Ukraine
# New York Times goes behind the scenes for Yanukovych's last hours in power and how he lost it
# "The Next Battle for Ukraine" - Sabrina Tavernise, New York Times
 
Iraq/Syria/Turkey
# Erdogan sees new threat -- in political cartoons
# IS releases new, well-produced Cantlie video
# IS power appears to ebb
 
Iran
# Rohani proposes direct referendum, possibly to bypass hardliners on nuclear deal; says Iran must end isolation
# Sides moving closer on nuclear deal
 
Afghanistan/Pakistan
# Support for Afghanistan troops rises as combat mission ends
# Unruly factions hurt Taliban bid to capture territory
# To fight Taliban, "Pakistan needs curriculum reform"
 
Central Asia
Uzbek translation of Koran launched in Afghanistan

The Rundown -- January 2

New Years Eve in Sarajevo

RFE/RL in the Media
# Jeffrey Gedmin relates a "broken window" approach to foreign policy with Aliyev's crackdown on RFE/RL staff in Azerbaijan (Washington Post)
Independent cites RFE/RL Iraqi Service and Under the Black Flag blog for interview with man once imprisoned with James Foley
Buzzfeed writes about the RFE/RL and VOA Current Time project
 
Russia
# "Inside Obama's Secret Outreach to Russia" - Josh Rogin, Bloomberg
# Russia's protest movement is in shambles
# Russia's Eurasian Union "already looks like a disaster
# EU's foreign policy chief seeks "debate" with Russia on role in Europe
# Why you shouldn't get tagged on social media in Russia
 
 
Ukraine
# Ukraine says separatists keeping up attacks
# "Ukraine's Facebook Warriors" - David Patrikarakos, New York Times
 
Iran
# Iran, Iraq agree To military pact to combat Islamic State militants
# "Enabling Iran's Nukes" - Omri Ceren, Commentary
# Rubio says new Iran sanctions are coming
 
Iraq/Syria
# The Iraq war's new heroes
# New Zealand IS militant accidentally broadcasts location via Twitter
# Visual: How the air campaign against IS grew
# Iraqi media says IS militants have contracted Ebola
 
Afghanistan/Pakistan
# What was achieved and what lies ahead in Afghanistan
# Fears of IS in Afghanistan grow
 
Central Asia
# U.S. sends five Guantanamo prisoners to Kazakhstan for resettlement
 
Caucasus
# Armenia officially joins Eurasian Economic Union
# Long read: "A Family Survives the Armenian Genocide and Its Long Aftermath" - Raffi Khatchadourian, New Yorker
 
Of Interest

The Rundown -- December 23

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

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