Thursday, April 17, 2014

Communications / The Rundown


The Rundown -- April 17

RFE/RL Video Roundup -- Apr. 16i
April 16, 2014
Pro-Russian separatists seize military vehicles in Ukraine, an anti-LGBT protest in Russia, and poor children get free clothes in Pakistan, plus more reports from Afghanistan, Russia, and Pakistan in this roundup of news from countries covered by RFE/RL.
RFE/RL in the Media cites RFE/RL's coverage of Ukraine crisis
# VKontakte founder says FSB asked him to turn over Euromaidan account information
# U.S. says toughest sanctions will only come if Russia invades
# "Playing Putin's Game" - Walter Russell Mead, "The American Interest" 
# Duma passes first reading of bill that would end direct mayoral elections
# How McDonalds went from zero to hero in Russia
# Anti- terrorist operation "a spectacular debacle
# Leonid Ragozin: people in Donbas really hate instability
# "What Drives the Hate in Eastern Ukraine" - Oksana Grytsenko, "Kyiv Post" 
# "Why Ukraine's May 25 Election Is So Important" - George Liber, "Moscow Times" 
Eastern Europe
# Gagauzia's "tough choice" between Russia and the EU
Deep corruption at Afghanistan's border crossings 
# Do Afghan election results increase chance U.S. will stay?
# Women of Afghanistan "stand to be counted
# Pakistan Taliban end ceasefire 
# A solar solution to Pakistan's gas crisis
# Pakistan publishes list to embarrass tax cheats 
# Mother of victim halts Iranian's execution at last minute
# Iran "ready to help Europe" with natural gas
# Could Israel carry out a surprise attack on Iran?
# Azerbaijan and Iran seeking closer military ties
Central Asia
# Kazakhstan considers Aral Sea cooperation with Uzbekistan
# Armenian said to be first person killed in eastern Ukraine violence
# Azerbaijan clamping down on Facebook activists 
# Azerbaijan to build Olympic complex
Of Interest

The Rundown -- April 16

RFE/RL Video Roundup - Apr. 15i
April 15, 2014
Women and children protest in Kazakhstan, market workers worry about their jobs in Tajikistan, a protest at the Duma in Russia, plus stories from Pakistan, Moldova, Georgia, and Serbia in this roundup of news from countries covered by RFE/RL.
RFE/RL in the Media
WSJ Marketwatch cites Farangis Najibullah on Russia's political weatherman
# Ukraine launches "gradual" operation in the east
# A Russian journalist's 24 hour ordeal at Kyiv airport
# "The Ukraine Situation Requires More Nuance" - Volodymyr Ishchenko, "The Guardian"
# How to repatriate Ukraine's stolen assets
# "U.S. Should Send Troops" - James Jeffrey, "Washington Post"
# "Spiegel" on growing ties between European far right and Moscow 
# "Crimea Helped Putin Hijack the Nationalists" - Vladimir Frolov, "Moscow Times"
# "Russia is Quick to Bend Truth About Ukraine" - David Herszenhorn, "New York Times"
What would Russia do if it crossed into Ukraine? 
# Divisive debate in Germany over Russia
# Russia and China racing to finish gas talks
Eastern Europe
# New round of Transdniester talks in May
# Moldova is "newest front" between Russia and the West
# Khamenei having trouble controlling his hardliners; Zarif says he's not worried about hardliner push-back
# Afghanistan minister kidnapped in Kabul
# NATO airstrike in Afghanistan reportedly kills civilians
# Confidential U.S. assessment says Afghanistan not ready to govern on its own
# Afghan economy faces serious revenue shortfall 
# Afghanistan journalists' Taliban boycott
# Pakistan to establish polio vaccine checkpoints
# Clegg demands release of Iraq inquiry
# Azerbaijan appears to back Gulen crackdown 
Central Asia
# Tajik remittances more than half GDP
Of Interest
# The guy who invented the Twitter disclaimer
# It may be okay to kill comments

The Rundown -- April 15

RFE/RL Video Roundup - Apr. 14i
April 14, 2014
Rioting in northern Iraq, a protest over land seizures in Kazakhstan, and a former Taliban leader's disappearance, plus stories from the Russian republics of Tatarstan and Daghestan in this roundup of news from countries covered by RFE/RL.
RFE/RL in the Media

World Bulletin features RFE/RL map of Russian ties in FSU
NPR cites RFE/RL coverage of Ukraine crisis
# White House prepping new sanctions against Moscow
# Israel and U.S. split over Russia response
# Pentagon not happy with Russian jet buzzing Navy ship 
# "Cossacks" in Slovyansk 
# "Ukraine's Defense Dilemma" - Judy Dempsey, Carnegie 
# Support for Russia has decreased in the South and East, according to recent polling
# Thirty lions at Crimean safari park face starvation
# Iran official voices concern over fate of nuclear power plant
# Iran wants UN committee meeting on U.S. ban of envoy
# Iran minister hints country could replace Russia as gas supplier to EU
# "Iraq’s Elections Setting Up ‘Worst Case Scenario’" - James Kitfield, Defense One
# "A Hedgehog and a Fox Explain Afghanistan" - Douglas Ollivant, Foreign Policy
# "America's Ugly Win in Afghanistan" - Andrew Peek, Fiscal Times
# Senior Taliban member goes missing in UAE
RT's take on progress in Afghanistan
# Pakistan to release 12 Taliban militants
New PM appointed in Armenia

The Rundown -- April 14

RFE/RL in the Media

# Read Fred Petrossian in the "Washington Post" on the decline of Iran's blogosphere
NPR cites RFE/RL on Ukraine crisis
Al Arabiya uses RFE/RL photo of controversial Iranian diplomat
# Russia spent higher percentage of GDP on arms than U.S. for first time since 2003
# Some 5,000 protest government media crackdown in Moscow
# "It's Time to Stop Romanticizing Russia" - Christian Neef, Spiegel
# Russia's role is to "incite, support and protect" Ukraine militants 
# Churkin says up to west to avoid civil war
# Miners have joined the pro-Russia protests in Donetsk
# Ukraine says it can prove Russia coordinated attacks
# U.S. State Department: "Ten more false claims about Ukraine"
Status of towns in eastern Ukraine as of 9PM
# Abdullah ahead so far in vote count, but runoff likely
# "The diplomatic brain drain" in Afghanistan
# Pakistan says next round of Taliban talks coming
# Judge dismisses murder charge against 9-year-old
# Iran says it's sticking with UN nominee despite U.S. objections 
# Iran calls off plan to send warships to Atlantic
# "Are Iran and Israel Trading Places?" - Abbas Milani and Israel Waismel-Manor, "New York Times"
# "Sanctions are Eased; Iran Sees Little Relief" - Rick Gladstone, "New York Times"
# Public executions in Iran draw crowds
# The photographer who stages murders in Iran
# Sarkisian says he won't run for president again
Central Asia
# Kazakhstan fears "Russian spring"
# Kazakh authorities may soon have ability to cut all communications within hours

The Rundown -- April 11

RFE/RL Video Roundup -- Apr. 10i
April 10, 2014
A fire seriously damages the Ukrainian Communist Party headquarters, the commander of U.S. forces meets with Afghanistan's military, blind cricket teams face-off in Pakistan, plus stories from Iraq, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan in this roundup of news from countries covered by RFE/RL.
RFE/RL in the Media

"USA Today" interviews 
Vaclav Havel fellows 
Ivan Beliaev and Ildar Gabidullin  
Al Monitor cites Carl Schreck's story on on Seymor Hersh Syria claims
# Read Lyubov Chizhova and Farangis Najibullah in "The Atlantic" on how Russian schools are teaching Crimea
# U.S. says tougher sanctions may be coming
# Putin's letter to Europe
# Dmitry Kiselyov compares his situation to the Dreyfus affair
# UN hints at rigged Crimea vote
# "Putin's War Against Russia's Last Independent TV Channel" - Tikhon Dzyadko, "The Guardian" 
# "Playing to Putin's End Game" - Nicholas Burns, "Boston Globe"
# CPJ demands Ukraine allow Russian journalists into the country 
# HRW criticizes new lustration law
# Burger King reportedly moving into Crimea
# Russia and the Great Patriotic War in Donetsk
# Infographic: Ukraine separatist movements
# "NATO Must Avoid New Cold War Borders" - Judy Dempsey, Carnegie
# "Germany's New Ostpolitik" - Jakob Mischke and Andreas Umland, "Foreign Affairs" 
# Germany and the romanticization of Russia
# Pic: Jobbik at PACE: "Crimea legally belongs to Russia! Transcarpathia legally belongs to Hungary!" 
# The rising price of dowries in Iran
# Russia and U.S. disagree over oil deal with Iran
# Israel's new satellite is likely meant to keep watch over Iran
# Khamenei gets Twitteratti treatment
# Iraq scrambles to fight polio surge
# Iraq signs preliminary deal for Czech planes
# Iraq gets first Pizza Hut
# "The irreversible journey" of Afghanistan's women
# The weakening of the "tribal factor" in Kandahar
# Pakistan rejects claim that Baluch group carried out market attack
# On Pakistan's YouTube ban

The Rundown -- April 10

RFE/RL Video Roundup -- Apr. 9i
April 09, 2014
Pro-Russian activists rally in Ukraine's Donetsk, a bomb explosion hits a Pakistani market, Armenians demand the implementation of a Constitutional Court ruling, plus stories from Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan in this roundup of news from countries covered by RFE/RL.
RFE/RL in the Media

# "National Review" cites Rob Coalson's piece on Russian television
# Council of Europe interviews Khadija Ismayilova after hearing on investigative journalism 
# Russia says it's near agreement in long sought gas deal with China
# Will Ukraine crisis derail southern gas pipeline?
# Russia did not provide complete information on Tsarnayev
# Analysts say Russia playing for influence -- rather than prepping invasion -- in Ukraine; but might invade anyway
# Is the West prepared for Putin's next move?
# Did NATO expansion set off Ukrainian crisis?
# The difficult life of opposition in Russia's regions
# "The Radical Skepticism of Ukraine's Students" - Peter Pomerantsev, "New Yorker"
# Putin warns Kyiv against irreversible mistakes
# Putin's "beachhead" in eastern Ukraine 
# Ukraine's richest man gambles on peacemaker role
# Ukraine halts natural gas imports from Russia
# Pro-Kremlin viral video imagines war in Ukraine
Eastern Europe
# Belarus Free Theatre given UK residency
# Top NATO commander says U.S. troops may be sent to eastern Europe
# More children are dying from explosives left by U.S. forces
# Election day in Afghanistan was more violent than most other days
# The "driving role of Pakistan" in the Afghan war
# An al-Qaeda leader explains Twitter recruitment
# Iran says U.S. reaction to UN envoy choice is unacceptable 
# Denying visa would test U.S. influence at UN
# Diplomat also reportedly implicated in Rome death of Iranian dissident
# Ahmadinejad may have just joined Twitter 
Gulen was major issue in Erdogan-Aliyev talks
# Aliyev's selfie with Dutch ambassadors attracts attention
Central Asia
# Kazakhstan mulls criminalizing calls for separatism
# Foreign Ministry offers contest for foreign journalists' reporting in Kazakhstan
Of Interest

The Rundown -- April 9

RFE/RL Video Roundup - Apr. 8i
April 08, 2014
Ukrainian forces expel pro-Russian protesters from a building in Kharkiv, a Belarusian dissident is released from prison, an Iraqi city hosts an international flower show, plus stories from Georgia, Moldova, Russia, and Serbia in this roundup of stories from countries covered by RFE/RL.
RFE/RL in the Media

# "The New Republic" cites Andriy Kuznetsov's "ominous dispatch" from Luhansk
Reason cites RFE/RL coverage of crisis in Ukraine
# Rhetoric towards Ukraine and West heats up 
# Swedish security services worried about Russia war preparations
# How Moscow is trying to integrate Crimea's Muslims
# Russia court forces closure of Memorial NGO because of "foreign agent" dispute
# "You Can't Beat Putin Because He's Already Won" - Daniel Altman, Foreign Policy
# Did a Russian invasion of Ukraine just get more likely?
# Jewish community leaders in Dnipropetrovsk reject anti-semitism claims
# EU to set up support group for Ukraine economy
# In Luhansk, separatists prepare for "long siege"
# Who are the "human shields" in Luhansk? 
Inside occupied Donetsk
Eastern Europe
# Belarus says it's working on a cure for AIDS
# Tensions high on Ukraine's border with Transdniester 
# Moldovan winemakers struggle 
# Fewer election complaints than in '09
Mixed picture emerging from Afghan vote
# "Four Reasons Elections Won't Fix Afghanistan" - Michael Kugelman, "The Diplomat"
# Afghanistan child bride gets second chance at life
# In Pakistan, giant portrait puts face on drone strikes
# On the 9-month-old charged with attempted murder
# Iran wants nuclear deal drafting by mid-May
Asian ambitions for Iran's Navy?
# Carney says Iran choice of envoy "not viable"
# RT says nuclear talks collapsing 
# Domestic tensions "boil" in Iran
# Sen. Rand Paul once said Iraq invasion was for Halliburton profit
Quality issues emerge with Iraq oil in Asia
# Some parts of Anbar won't have voting because of violence
Central Asia
# Russian Embassy in Dushanbe says local Russians support Ukraine policy 
# Kazakhstan's offshore woes
# Putin submits Russia-Armenia military deal for Duma approval
# The Armenians of Estonia
Of Interest

The Rundown -- April 8

RFE/RL Video Roundup - Apr. 7i
April 07, 2014
Pro-Russian activists occupy government buildings in eastern Ukraine, anti-Russian protesters march in Moldova, Kyrgyzstan commemorates its April 2010 uprising, plus stories from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Serbia in this roundup of news from countries covered by RFE/RL.
RFE/RL in the Media

# Robert Coalson's piece about a day in Russian TV included on "Financial Times" list of "smart reads"; also republished in "The Atlantic"
Washington Free Beacon cites RFE/RL Russian Service interview with Boris Nemtsov
# "Le Monde" cites report by Andriy Kuznetsov from the standoff in Luhansk 
# Lavrov, in "The Guardian," says it's West, not Russia, stirring up tension
# Is Putin sabotaging Ukraine?
# The return of "New Russia"
Possible risks for Moscow in the event of an attack on Ukraine
# Putin warns FSB about NGO dangers
# Are Yanukovych's old aides working with the separatists in the east?
Russia's options in Ukraine
# Russia accuses Ukraine of using "U.S. mercenaries" in the east
# How one Crimean separatist has dodged sanctions
# The less Americans know about Ukraine the more they want to intervene
Eastern Europe
# Moldova requests extradition of Russian banker from UK
# Senate votes unanimously to deny potential Iran UN envoy entry to U.S. 
# U.S. senators pushing hard line against Iran-Russia deal
# Hizbollah says it has helped Assad win in Syria
# Iran struggling to receive promised unfrozen oil revenue
# Revolutionary Guard says it has dismantled a foreign spy ring
# Heroin a common enemy of U.S. and Iran
# "The Ghost Polls of Afghanistan"- Matthieu Aikins, Harpers
# Afghanistan's new middle class is the "key to stability"
# Pakistan military hints at irritation over Musharraf trial
# Pakistan security forces kill 30 in Balochistan
# Iraq signs preliminary deal for Czech planes
# Two more executions in Iraq
# Glaxo investigates possible misconduct in Iraq
Of Interest
# Is Vox a smarter Wikipedia?
# How advertising cookies let observers follow you around the web

The Rundown -- April 7

RFE/RL in the Media

Bloomberg cites RFE/RL Azeri interview with former U.S. ambassador in story on angst in Azerbaijan over Russia moves 
Yahoo News uses RFE/RL video of storming of security agency building in Luhansk
Eurasianet cited RFE/RL Kyrgyz coverage of gold mine riots
# Putin's high-profile defenders in Europe
# The CIA's secret plan to print "Dr. Zhivago" 
# "Defend the West: Is it Time to Rearm?" - Brendan Simms, "New Statesman" 
# Czech president says NATO should act if Russia invades eastern Ukraine
# Putin more like Nicholas I than Peter?
# Saakashvili's warning
# Russia's "oil sickness" stifles reform
# Pro-Russia protesters seize government buildings in eastern Ukraine
# Was a Russian general behind Euromaidan massacre?
# Authorities arrest group said to be planning attack against Kyiv government
# Yatsenyuk says Ukraine will stick with austerity
# Nationalist-linked Ukraine reporter found murdered
# Estimated 7 million people turn out for relatively peaceful Afghan vote
# Many voters were scared to vote in Wardak province
# WSJ calls for "credible U.S. force" to remain in Afghanistan
# "Afghanistan's Coming Coup?" - Paul Miller, "Foreign Affairs" 
# Pakistani Taliban launch Urdu website
# Pakistan to release Taliban prisoners
# Abducted border guards released
# U.S. allows Boeing to sell air components to Iran
# Experts split over Iran nuclear weapons fatwa
# "Sheldon: Iran's Best Friend" - Thomas Friedman, "New York Times" 
# ISIS expands around Baghdad
# "Checking Putin's Eurasian Ambitions" - Svante Cornell, "Wall Street Journal"
# Dugan says an Azerbaijan that is hostile to Russia "will instantly cease to exist"
# Could Russia exploit ethnic differences in Georgia's south?
Central Asia
# Russia, Uzbekistan floating buffer states in Afghanistan to stem flow of Islamism 
Of Interest
# Ezra Klein left "Washington Post" for Vox because its CMS was made for journalists

The Rundown -- April 4

RFE/RL Video Roundup -- Apr. 3i
April 03, 2014
Loyal soldiers leave Crimea for Ukraine, the military reassures voters in Afghanistan, and new army recruits in Tajikistan, plus stories from Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, and Turkmenistan in a roundup of reports from countries covered by RFE/RL.
RFE/RL in the Media

# "New York Post" and "The Age" take screen grab from Ukrainian service video of Maidan snipers
Eurasianet cites RFE/RL's Armenian Service on Armenia's lost apricot season
# Ukraine charges riot police, Yanukovych, with Maidan deaths 
# Ukraine bans the sale of some Russian food products
# Ukrainians try to boycott all things Russian 
# Simon Ostrovsky video of the clearing of Right Sector from Dnipro and of Crimean Tatars
# 14 things to know about Petro Poroshenko 
# Russia accuses 25 Ukrainians of planning terror attacks
# Russia says it has weathered the worst of the economic storm
# Russia deputy FM recommends yoga for U.S. officials still vexed by Crimea annexation
# Cambridge House refuses to publish book on Putin links to organized crime
Eastern Europe
# Special forces mobilize in Chisinau
# Gagauzia asks Russia to open consulate
# Where Afghanistan soldiers get training
# "Sex, lies and social media" in Afghan elections
# "Give Afghanistan a Chance" - Patrick Christy, "US News"
# "Campaign of Resilience" - photos from the trail
# Pakistan to tighten border for Afghan elections
# Age mellows some former captors of U.S. hostages
# Iran official now says all five captured border guards are still alive
# Experts say design of Arak plant need to be changed
Twitter and the 2009 Iran protests
# "Iraq's Biggest Killer Hits Cairo" - Jesse Rosenfeld, Daily Beast
# Armenian prime minister resigns
Of Interest
# Turkey turns its back on the EU

The Rundown -- April 3

RFE/RL Video Roundup - Apr. 2i
April 02, 2014
A suicide-bomb attack in Afghanistan, the election campaign begins in Iraq, and a bank protest in Russia, plus stories from Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Georgia in a roundup of reports from countries covered by RFE/RL.
# NASA cuts ties with Russia, with exception of space station
Divisions among Russian emgires on Ukraine
# "Why Russians Long for the Soviet Union" - Victor Davidoff, "Moscow Times"
# "Putin's Nightingales" - David Remnick, "New Yorker"
# "In Crimea, Russia Showcases a Rebooted Army" -C.J. Chivers and David Herszenhorn  
# What happened in Ukraine: A daily update
# Ukraine to get its own social network
# Ukraine far-right leader "shot himself
# Firtash charged with racketeering in the U.S. 
# David Frum asks why the weak response from the West over Russian calls for federalism
Eastern Europe
# Belarus withdraws Interpol request for Suleiman Kerimov
# Gagauzia labor migrants ask Russia for simpler citizenship procedures
# Bomb kills six outside ministry compound in Afghanistan
# "Afghanistan and the Bottom Line" - Jamie Tarabay, Al Jazeera 
# The things an Afghan election observer carries
Retail politics in Afghanistan
# Pakistan police apologize for German tourist's two week detention
# Iran and Russia working on $20 billion oil-for-food deal
# State Department notifies Iran of "serious concerns" about UN choice
# Israeli opposition leader throws support behind Iran talks
# Mother of Iranian passenger on Flight 370 "suffers in silence"
Central Asia
# China promises Tajikistan hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid
# Kim Kardashian makes plea for Kessab 
# Iran’s gas courtship of Armenia 
# Erdogan to make first post-vote trip to Azerbaijan
Of Interest
# What the NYT new news app is trying to do

The Rundown -- April 2

RFE/RL Video Roundup - Apr. 1i
April 01, 2014
Ultranationalists disarmed in Ukraine, Defense Ministers meeting in Tajikistan, a pro-Crimea rally in Russia's Bashkortostan, and stories from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, and Afghanistan in a roundup of reports from countries covered by RFE/RL.
RFE/RL in the Media

# House passes measure that includes funding for RFE/RL and VOA Ukraine broadcasting
# "Wall Street Journal" cites RFE/RL survey of Russian media environment
# "Moscow Times" cites RFE/RL reporting on EU concern over Transdniester 
# Read Rob Coalson's profile of Petro Poroshenko in "The Atlantic"
# Finland frets as Russia launches military drills on its border 
# Manhattan real estate feels a Russian chill
# Pavel Durov leaves VKontakte amid Kremlin pressure
# President of RT America facing prison for tax fraud
Profile of Dmitry Kiselyov
# 25 tales of corruption and control found at Yanukovych's house
# U.S. military donations showing up for sale online in Ukraine
# Russia imposes large hike on Ukrainian gas prices
# "Experts on Ukraine Still Getting It Wrong" - Alexander Motyl, "World Affairs Journal"
Eastern Europe
Undercover report from Transdniester 
# If Transdniester is a new flashpoint, how should Europe react?
# Belarus supports Ukraine's "choice of integration vector"
# Afghanistan Analysts Network election rundown
# Karzai, to live near palace, plans to maintain influence
# The radicalization of some of Afghanistan's educated youth
# To protect foreigners, Afghanistan shuts down their hangouts
# Pakistan Ahmadi arrested on blasphemy charges
# Pakistan rejects Afghan allegation of involvement in terror attacks
# UN report assails Iran persecution of religious minorities
# Cheney calls for strikes on Iran at Republican gathering
# "Is Iran a Military Threat?" - Shahram Chubin, Carnegie
# 60% of Iran students use Viber and WeChat says office of Supreme Leader
# Azerbaijan fined $500,000 for nine doping cases
# Azerbaijani and Armenian FMs are to meet in Moscow in early April
Of Interest
# Young Syrian refugees perform Shakespeare 
# The case for profanity in print

The Rundown -- April 1

RFE/RL Video Roundup - Mar. 31i
March 31, 2014
A former president is indicted for treason in Pakistan, a bridge is bombed in Iraq, and an opposition leader is released from jail in Belarus, plus stories from Kyrgyzstan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, and Iraq in a roundup of reports from countries covered by RFE/RL.
RFE/RL in the Media

Eurasianet cites RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service on base closures in Kyrgyzstan 
# Ron Paul, writing for Russia Today (RT), criticizes RFE/RL as propaganda
# Germans invoking Crimea precedent want their Republic back 
# "Putin's New War on Traitors" - Joshua Yaffa, "New Yorker" 
# "Is Germany a Country of Russia Apologists?" - Ralf Neukirch, Spiegel 
# Why did BRICS back Russia on Crimea?
# "Russia's Anti-Western Ideology Has Global Consequences" - Anne Applebaum, "Washington Post" 
Darth Vader running for president 
# Kyiv calls Medvedev visit to Crimea a "crude violation"
# "Ukraine's Best Worst Hope" - Gregory Feifer, Politico
# Ukraine's troops "cope on donations"
# Infographic: Crimea vs. Kosovo
# Afghanistan gets the most foreign aid
# An Afghan couple on the run
No U.S. soldiers died in Afghanistan in March
# The $400,000 camel meant to stand at new U.S. Embassy in islamabad
# Is Musharraf preparing to leave Pakistan?
# Iran director screens film to save man on death row
# How far did Turkey go to help Iran avoid sanctions?
# Former U.S. hostage angry about UN envoy appointee 
# Turkey trade with Russia diverted through Georgia
# Armenian bill would ban online anonymity 
Central Asia
# Moscow deploys missiles to Kazakhstan border
# Uzbekistan tightens Internet cafe scrutiny
# Karimova's selfies from house arrest
Of Interest
# Google public DNS intercepted in Turkey

The Rundown -- March 31

# Is Warsaw the only thing standing in between Putin and Europe? 
# With addition of Ukrainian ships, Russian Navy now larger than U.S Navy 
# Ten reasons Russia is "likely" to invade Crimea
# Seven parts of Russia that other countries can call theirs 
# "Putin's Reckless Gamble" - Stephen Sestanovich, "New York Times" 
# "My Friend, Stalin's Daughter" - Nicholas Thompson, "New Yorker" 
# Ukrainian FM calls Russian FM comments "patronizing
# "Ukraine's Hopes Riding On a Chocolatier" - Andrew Kramer, "New York Times" 
Ecuador won't recognize Ukrainian government
# Crimea switches to Moscow time
Eastern Europe
# Belarusian and Ukrainian presidents hold talks
# U.S. gives Moldova $10 million to reinforce border
# Moscow reaching out to Gagauzia 
# Erdogan's wins big in municipal elections, promises to go after enemies
# Turkey on the road to "Fahrenheit 451?"
# Five things to know about Turkey's social media ban
# Analyzing the election polls
# Potential domestic and external "spoilers" in Afghanistan election
# Afghanistan, India and Iran to sign pact that will give Kabul port access
# "The Interpreters We Left Behind" - Paul Solotaroff, "Mens Journal" 
# Pakistani Taliban agrees to extend ceasefire 
# Iran's pick for UN Ambassador was a member of group involved in 1979 Embassy hostage-taking
# Iran begins to rock out
# Iran's chief rabbi dies 
# Iran and Israel pursue cold peace in Gaza
# "Veiled Truths" - Hossein Fatemi, "New York Times" 
Central Asia
# What does Crimea mean for Kazakhstan oil?
# Azerbaijan's warming ties with Iran
# Medvedev says Armenia's customs union roadmap has been implemented
# Glazyev says customs union will be good for all Caucasian states
Of Interest
# French far right has best showing ever in local polls
Map of countries blocking Facebook, Twitter, YouTube

The Rundown -- March 28

RFE/RL Video Roundup - Mar. 27i
March 27, 2014
Afghan President Hamid Karzai hosts the international Norouz festival, Pakistani paramedics demand a pay rise, and an exhibition titled "Ten Centuries of Art in Belarus" opens in Minsk, plus stories from Russia and Belarus in the countries covered by RFE/RL.
RFE/RL in the Media

Al Arabiya reports on Kurdish officer to be tried for murder of RFE/RL's Baghdad bureau chief
# "Washington Times" cites RFE/RL reporting on Transdniester
ShalomLife cites RFE/RL's UkraineUnspun report on Russian anchor's remarks about the Holocaust
# George Shultz on dealing with Russia
# Target of anti-gay attacks, Russia's largest gay club shuts down 
# "Obama's European History Lesson" - John Cassidy, "New Yorker" 
# Tymoshenko to run for president
# Invasion of Russia increasingly likely according to U.S. intel
# Ukraine "finds new hero" in commander who stood up to Russians
# James Sherr: Time to stop praising Ukraine "for exercising restraint"
# Iran plans to increase gas imports by March 2015
# Iran and Iraq part of global rise in capital punishment 
# Western firms seek a safe way into Iran
# Russia not ready to "retaliate" in Iran talks
# Iran urges UN action over abducted soldiers
Faces of modern Kabul
# Afghan election official say state employees being used to back Rassoul 
# The importance of Afghanistan's first lady
# Afghanistan's multinational mobile phone company
# Pakistan court sentences Christian man to death for blasphemy
# Chief judge in Musharraf treason trial quits
Central Asia
# Dushanbe moves to seize assets of troubled Ukrainian oligarch 
# Tajikistan and Afghanistan sign cooperation documents
# Bosnia finds wartime mass grave
# EU slams Bosnia on lack of progress with EU accession 
Of Interest
# Turkey blocks YouTube after new leak

The Rundown -- March 27

RFE/RL Video Roundup - Mar. 26i
March 26, 2014
Crimean retirees queue up for pensions, traders in Pakistan strike against extortion, and a commemoration in Serbia for Albanian victims of the war in Kosovo, plus stories from Afghanistan, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Belarus, Iraq, and Tajikistan.
RFE/RL in the Media

# Read Charles Recknagel in "The Atlantic" on Russia restarting a Soviet era fitness program
Daily Beast profile of Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves mentions his former employment at RFE/RL 
Business Insider cites RFE/RL reporting on Ukrainian troop movements near Ukraine
# New U.S. intel assessment says invasion of E. Ukraine more likely than previously thought
# Russia sets up hotline for anti-Russian rights abuses in Ukraine
# Crimea's fighting dolphins switch sides
# Russia to direct $2.8 from reserves to Crimea
# Russia considers making Crimea a casino hub
# "Western Sanctions Are a Sign of Weakness" - Igor Ivanov, "Moscow Times" 
# Interim defense minister ousted over Crimea response
# Signs of Russian control begin appearing at street level in Crimea -- to mixed reaction
# Crimean Tatars may hold their own vote
# Hard line nationalists turn on the new administration
# "Ukraine's Phantom Neo-Nazi Menace" - David Frum, "The Atlantic" 
Eastern Europe
# "Belarus Wants Out" - Andrew Wilson, "Foreign Affairs" 
# Gazprom says business in Belarus, Ukraine not affected by crisis
# Belarusian opposition marches in support of Kyiv
# Russian military holds exercises in Transdniester 
# Iranians make moonshine
# Iran warns Pakistan after abducted soldier's reported execution
# Iran hangs 16 in reprisal for killings
# The evolution of Iran's ethnic Baluch insurgency
# "Are You Brave Enough to Invest in Iran?" - Matthew Lynn, MarketWatch 
# Iraq electoral commission resigns en masse
# Obama sort of defends Iraq war
# Reporters Without Borders expresses concern about attacks on journalists in Iraq
# Afghan candidate quits presidential race, backs a frontrunner 
# "Afghanistan: Miserable, But Not as Bad as You Think" - Rob Crilly, "The Telegraph" 
# Karzai says Afghanistan will further cement ties with China
# Pakistan lawmaker battles to raise punishment for child marriage 
# Pakistani minister rules out concessions to Taliban
Central Asia
# Is Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan border dispute about oil?
# Uzbekistan joins CIS free trade zone
Energy ramifications of Crimea crisis for Azerbaijan
# Armenia steps back comments on Crimea annexation 
Of Interest
# "New York Times" bets on own reputation with new mobile app 
# Some doubt about North Korean men being required to get Kim Jung un haircut 
# Twitter responds to Turkey

The Rundown -- March 26

RFE/RL Video Roundup - Mar. 25i
March 25, 2014
Tight security in Kabul following a suicide attack, Kyrgyz women's rights activists march for peace, and a protest in Pakistan against the abduction of civilians, plus stories from Russia, Armenia, and Georgia.
RFE/RL in the Media
# House bill provides $10 million for increased broadcasts to Ukraine by RFE/RL and VOA
# "Newsweek" quotes RFE/RL interview with Mark Galeotti on Ukraine sanctions
WorldCrunch cites Daisy Sindelar's piece about Tymoshenko's "Nuland moment"
# Tsarnaev may have escaped U.S. authorities because of spelling error
# Obama says Russia is a regional power, but not a geopolitical foe 
# "For Putin, Out With the Old Favorites" - Ellen Barry, "New York Times" 
# Putin's fear of technology keeps spies in the dark
# Robert Gates says West has to play long game to challenge Putin
# Website lists Russian "traitors" who opposed Crimea invasion (Russian)
# Ukrainian Catholics say they're forced to flee Crimea
# Ukraine battles to rebuild depleted military
# Russian military expert says Russia will invade Eastern Ukraine by mid-May or not at all
# Most Americans say U.S. doesn't have a responsibility in Ukraine
# Senate likely to pass bill with $1 billion in loan guarantees this week
# "Citizens in Uniforms: Post-Euromaidan Reality" - Anna Zamejc and Pawel Rybicki 
# Ukraine battles to rebuild a depleted military
Eastern Europe
# Why Transdniester could be next 
# Belarus and NATO discuss new partnership goals
# Iran says one of five abducted border guards has been killed 
# Iran resumes monetary aid to Hamas
# Tehran smog clears during Nowruz
# U.S. authorizes academic exchanges with Iran
# "A Cappuccino With the CIA" - Roya Hakakian, "New York Times" 
# Video: In U.S. criticism Rumsfeld says "a trained ape" can get a status of forces agreement done
# Murdered Afghan journalist's son regains consciousness 
# An assessment of the Taliban's military capability
# Karachi emerging as an "indie music capital"
# "Saudi Arabia's Pilgrimage to Pakistan" - Mai Yamani, Project Syndicate
# Iraq buys $1.5 billion in gold 
# First polio case in 14 years
# Azerbaijan to expand representation in NATO
Of Interest
Can you spot a liar? (The Rundown got 9/10) 

The Rundown -- March 25

RFE/RL Video Roundup - Mar. 24i
March 24, 2014
Fighting continues in Iraq's Anbar Province, an alleged mafia boss goes on trial in Serbia, and health workers get heavy security in Pakistan during an antipolio campaign, plus stories from Georgia, Belarus, and Kyrgyzstan.
RFE/RL in the Media

# David Satter mentioned in "Financial Times" piece as another of its former reporters is set to be barred
Newsy cites Sergei Seninsky's piece on a weakened Russian economy
# "After Buildup of Grievances, Russia Drew Line on Crimea" - David Herszenhorn, "New York Times" 
# "Three Presidents and a Riddle Named Putin" - Peter Baker, "New York Times" 
# Thugs attack Saint Patrick's Day flash mob, reportedly mistaking it for a pro-gay rally
# Right Sector second in command reportedly killed in Western Ukraine
# Millions reportedly taken from Ukraine budget to pay Titushki during Euromaidan protests
# EU denies that it dropped protection of sexual minorities as requirement for visa negotiations with Ukraine
# Tymoshenko allegedly recorded in phone call saying she would "take up arms and kill the f'ing Russians"
# Radical factions square off in Eastern Ukraine
# Russian and Ukrainian FMs meet for the first time
# Culture of unchecked abuse "thrives" in Ukraine
# Russia steps up economic pressure on Kyiv 
Eastern Europe
# Belarus says Crimea sets a "bad precedent"
# EU Commission presidential candidate warns that EU must protect Moldova from Russia
# On near year, few signs of improvement in Iran economy 
# Iran's carrier replica is unlikely to be a movie prop, say analysts 
# Iran says Canadian judge's $7 million decision is "politically motivated"
# Nuclear politics in Iran: regime security vs. factional interests
# Hedge fund bets $100 million Iran will pay for Beirut terror attack
# In Afghan race, wooing votes with ethnic strongmen
# Despite Taliban taking credit, Kabul continues to insist on foreign hand in hotel attack
# The rise and fall of a U.S. special forces soldier in Afghanistan
# Pakistan's poster boy
# Pakistan's hard drug epidemic
Central Asia
# In smuggled letter to BBC, Karimova says she's being tortured, put under psychological pressure
# Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan to sign border agreement
# Chinese president vows cooperation with Kazakhstan on security and development 
# Karabakh peace seen as more elusive after Crimea annexation
# Erdogan's Internet role model isn't Iran or China, it's Azerbaijan
Of Interest
# Why "access journalism" didn't pay off for "Wall Street Journal' 

The Rundown -- March 24

RFE/RL in the Media

# Dr. Mohammed Bdaiwi Owaid Al-Shammari, Radio Free Iraq's Baghdad bureau chief, was shot dead on Saturday; RFE/RL statement
# "The Hill" mentions possible expansion of RFE/RL and VOA in Ukraine
Business Insider cites RFE/RL map of Putin's version of Russia ties in the former Soviet Union
Breitbart cites Mike Scollon's piece comparing "Muppets Most Wanted" to recent Crimea events 
# The Commentator cites Daisy Sindelar's piece on Putin's untruths in Crimea address 
# White House warns Russian troops may be massing to invade Ukraine
# Hundreds of Crimean Tatars have fled to Western Ukraine
# Ukrainians start sex boycott of Russian men
# Karzai tells congressional delegation he supports Crimea's right to self-determination
# Ukraine's foreign minister says chances of war with Russia are increasing
# Dueling funerals side-by-side in Crimea
# "The Mafia Ruling Ukraine's Mobs" - Jamie Dettmer, Daily Beast
# Why is Putin doing what he's doing?
# U.S. exporters feel chill in Russia orders
# How the sanctions could backfire
# "Confronting Putin's Russia" - Michael McFaul, "New York Times"
# Does Crimea have a right to self determination?
# Russia hires Goldman as corporate broker to boost image
# Dozhd holding weeklong telethon to try to stay in business 
Eastern Europe
# NATO commander warns of Russia threat to Transdniestra
# Born in the U.S., but playing for Iran in the World Cup
# Khamenei denies Holocaust in Nowruz speech
# Rare glimpse of Iran's lost underworld
# Iran says fake aircraft carrier is for a movie
# As U.S. war ends, Russia returns with investments in Afghanistan
# 1980s-era mine kills five children in Afghanistan
# Afghanistan's first spaceman returns home
# "Afghanistan Is Doing Better Than You Think"- Michael O'Hannlon, Politico 
# Pakistan erases entire "New York Times" cover story on bin Laden
# Pakistani politician reportedly turned up on U.S. no-fly list
# Pakistan honors murdered reporter with top award
Central Asia
# Why Euromaidan is not spreading to other post-Soviet states
# 118-year-old woman reportedly dies in Kazakhstan
# Turkish bank willing to fund Azerbaijan energy project
# Three bear-cubs rescued from captivity in Kosovo
# Serbia unhappy by map in Ukraine promotional video that doesn't include Serbia in Europe
Of Interest
# In defense of American imperialism

The Rundown -- March 21

RFE/RL Video Roundup - Mar. 20i
March 20, 2014
Ukrainian reservists mobilize, security is stepped-up in Afghanistan, Kyrgyz protest the airport's sale, and reports from Pakistan and Georgia in today's video roundup from the countries covered by RFE/RL.
RFE/RL in the Media

# Read Luke Allnutt's review of "Now I Know Who My Comrades Are" in the "Wall Street Journal" 
# "Times of Israel" mentions Radio Farda interview with Shimon Peres
# Ukraine may get unfettered trade access to EU by April
# "Ukraine's Broken Nuclear Promises" - Owen Matthews, "Newsweek"
# Crimean Tatars asked to vacate lands
# Moscow moves to destabilize east. But it will not so easily break to Moscow
# Ukraine orders Maidan "self-defense" groups to turn in guns by Friday
# How new sanctions against Puin's inner circle will hurt
# Putin taking vengeance out on Russian liberals
# "The Economics of Limiting Russia's Expansion" - Peter Boone and Simon Johnson, "New York Times" 
# The logic behind Obama's step-by-step approach to sanctions
# Where they stand: EU countries on sanctions against Russia
# Timchenko sold his 43 percent stake in Gunvor on Wednesday
# Should Germany get Kaliningrad?
Eastern Europe
# Will Moldova be the next flashpoint? McCain says it's the country to watch
# Belarus and Kazakhstan share CIS presidency in absence of Ukraine
Turkey bans Twitter, 12 hours after Erdogan said he would "eradicate it" 
# In 2013, Twitter ranked 8th in the world in active Twitter use
# Photo: Protesters painting DNS numbers onto photos of governing party members
# Is Iran building an aircraft carrier just to blow it up?
# Crimea makes Iran talks "awkward
# Lawyer who investigated Iran-Contra scandal dies
# Israel says Iranian Jews missing since 1990s were murdered
# Iraq child marriage bill sparks outrage
# Afghanistan frees 77 prisoners despite warnings
# Serena Hotel attacked by gunmen
Central Asia
# The Crimean Tatars of Uzbekistan
# Kazakhstan to spend $55 million on embassy building in Paris
# Kosovo offers benefits to wartime rape victims
# How will Vucic wield his power?
Of Interest
# Why The Verge doesn't give its reporters metrics

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