Wednesday, December 02, 2015

WATCH: Tajikistan is imposing more and more restrictions on Muslim traditions. Laws tightly regulating Islamic worship, dress, and political life have divided Tajik society. Caught in the middle are two sisters: Parvona and Sarvinoz Junaidova. They lead different lives but agree on one thing: Individuals should be free to make their own choices.

Video As Tajikistan Limits Islam, Does It Risk Destabilization?

Dushanbe is increasing its control over how Tajiks practice Islam amid claims hundreds have joined Islamic State in Syria. But are the measures stabilizing or destabilizing Tajikistan, where Islamists and secularists fought a civil war just 20 years ago? More

Varvara Karaulova is pictured during a court hearing in Moscow on October 28.

Volleyball, Honor Roll, And Islamic State? The Double Life Of An Unlikely Islamist

The father of a Moscow student jailed for alleged ties to Islamic State (IS) militants believes his daughter has fallen victim to both the extremist group and Russian authorities. More

A girl wearing a protective mask looks out from her balcony in the village of Beloomut, near Moscow, during serious forest fires caused by a heat wave in 2010.

Explainer: Climate Change And The View From Moscow

With a key UN conference on climate change starting in Paris, RFE/RL takes a closer look at the huge environmental challenges facing Russia in the coming decades. More

Antigovernment protesters clash with police in Podgorica on October 18. The government accuses Russia and Serbia of stirring up trouble.

Pro-Russian Parties Seek To Derail Montenegro's NATO Bid

Montenegro's Western-leaning government hopes NATO will offer it membership in December. But pro-Russian parties are seeking to sabotage the prospect with street protests. More

Yevgenia Debryanskaya (center) with fellow gay-rights activists Edvard Murzin _left) and Nikolai Alekseyev: "There was a time when we thought we could disband the army, ban the security services, open the borders, and legalize same-sex marriage."

Dissidents No More: Three Russians Who Have Given Up Activism

Since President Vladimir Putin came to power, hundreds of activists have been forced from politics or pushed to the margins as the Kremlin has tightened its grip on Russia. RFE/RL spoke to three former activists who have chosen to fold up their banners. More

Recent Features

Russia Turns Antisocial Toward Turkey

Vladimir Putin said there would be "serious consequences" after Turkish fighter jets shot down a Russian warplane on November 24.

Mirror Images: Are Putin And Erdogan Too Much Alike To Compromise?

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan often look like mirror images of strong, authoritarian nationalists. That could make it difficult for them to compromise over Turkey's downing of a Russian jet.

Video Crimeans Putting On Brave Faces, But Frustration Mounting Over Blackout

Crimea has been dealing with massive power shortages since unidentified saboteurs knocked down electricity pylons on the Ukrainian mainland last weekend. Residents of the region taken over by Russia last year are putting on brave faces, but frustration is mounting.

What Happens Now? Military Experts Weigh Implications Of Russian Jet Downing

What are the wider implications after a Russian jet was shot down by Turkey close to the Syrian border?

Video Explainer: Why Ukraine Supplies Electricity To Crimea, And Why It Stopped

Who stands behind the destruction of electricity pylons in southern Ukraine that left almost 2 million residents of Crimea in the dark? And why isn't Russia supplying power to its annexed territory in the first place?

Video Crimean Tatars' High-Risk Strategy

Activists in southern Ukraine, led by representatives of the Crimean Tatar minority, are pushing hard to force Kyiv to adopt a more aggressive policy aimed at recovering Crimea.

Putin Gives Khamenei Rare Copy Of Ancient Muslim Tome

A Koran that President Vladimir Putin gave to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei is one of the few copies made of the original edition of the Muslim holy book, which was first put into print in the 7th century. The copy, one of only a handful such reproductions that still exist, is somewhat of a treasure unto itself, with its own saga.

Explainer: What Can Moldova's Crisis Teach The EU?

Moldova was once a star pupil in a program to bring neighboring countries closer to the European Union. Now a political crisis could put Moldova back in Moscow's orbit.

Efforts Stepped Up To Rename Moscow Metro Station

Dzerzhinsky didn't survive the purge of Moscow Metro station names honoring Soviet officials. Lenin didn't either. But the name of a Bolshevik revolutionary who helped murder the tsar's family lives on at Voikovskaya station -- at least for now.

Kharkiv Fights Tooth And Nail Against Decommunization

As a key phase in Ukraine's push to get rid of communist place names and public art comes to an end, local authorities in the country's second-largest city are doing all they can to stymie the effort.
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