Sunday, May 03, 2015

Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka has continued his decades-old policy of remaining within Russia's orbit, but avoiding getting completely caught in Moscow's gravity by occasionally adopting an independent position and maintaining relations with the West that do not threaten his grip on power.

Ukraine Crisis Opens Up Wiggle Room For Lukashenka

The Belarusian president first criticized those in Moscow who view his country as "a northwestern province" of Russia, then did an about-face by flatly declaring that "we have been and always will be with Russia." The war in Ukraine has put a sharp new spin on the dizzying relations between Minsk and Moscow. More

Christian Jereghi demonstrates with a picture of Oleh Sentsov, a filmmaker from Crimea detained in Moscow.

Russian Fighting For Ukraine Refuses To 'Die With A Russian Passport'

A young Russian filmmaker who fought alongside government forces in eastern Ukraine is being granted Ukrainian citizenship after an emotional appeal to the country's president. He says Russians fighting for Ukraine are in an impossible legal quandary. More

Given that Vitali Klitschko ran for mayor on a "clean hands" campaign, promising to stamp out corruption -- and given that the transactions involve several of his close associates -- the controversy over Sunny Riviera poses a thorny challenge for the former world heavyweight champion.

Inconvenient Friends: Shady Real Estate Deal Tests Kyiv Mayor

As a scandal erupts over a controversial construction project, Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko faces a tough choice between backing his friends or serving his constituents. More

Artyom Loskutov leading a "monstration" march in Novosibirsk on May 1, 2013.

'Monstration' Rallies Hold Up Mirror To 'Absurd' Russian Reality

The organizer of a surrealist May Day rally says it's merely reflecting the absurd reality of life in Russia. More

A journalist in Smolensk was prosecuted for posting this historic photo of a courtyard under Nazi occupation on VKontakte.

Russia's Anti-Swastika Crusade Hits Toy Stores, Bookstores, And Museums

Russia is scrambling to get rid of swastikas and other Nazi symbols ahead of Victory Day celebrations. But has it going too far? More

Recent Features

The Worst Job In The World? Meet NATO’s Envoy To Russia

It could be described as one of the toughest diplomatic jobs in the world -- NATO's envoy to Moscow. Poland's Robert Pszczel has been in that post since 2010. “Maybe I have a masochistic streak," he says. "I actually still enjoy it.”

Quality, Not Just Quantity, For Kazakh Hero Moms

Having a large family is cause for celebration, but Kazakhstan is no longer rewarding hero moms unless they can prove they are good parents.

Macedonia Dead Last In Europe On Press Freedom

Macedonia has fallen to the bottom of the table in Europe in terms of press freedom, according to the watchdog Freedom House. The road forward looks far from promising.

A Sticky Situation For Poroshenko As Russians Seize Candy Assets

Russian authorities have seized several assets at a candy factory owned by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in the Russian city of Lipetsk. The move is certain to complicate Poroshenko's attempts to divest himself of his holdings. But some critics suggest he's not all that eager to sell.

Letters From Donbas, Part 5: 'Students Want Guarantees They'll Get Russian Diplomas'

Thousands of people have fled eastern Ukraine since the conflict erupted in April 2014. Some have since returned. Others never left. From teachers to pensioners to families with children, residents of rebel-held towns are struggling to get on with their lives amid the chaos and uncertainty.

Rising Latvian Artist Says 'Holy Monkeys' Not Meant To Offend

Sergei Dyomin, one of the highest-earning artists in the Latvian capital, Riga, has built his fame around a singular motif -- re-creating Orthodox icons where the saints bear the faces of monkeys. Dyomin, an atheist, insists no disrespect is intended.

Russia's Law Nursery: St. Petersburg Takes Lead In Steering Social Policy

Some St. Petersburg lawmakers want it to be a crime to be unemployed for more than six months. Russia's northern capital has in recent months become something of a nursery for legislative initiatives in social policy.

'Men Return Completely Changed': Ukraine Conflict Fueling Surge In Domestic Violence

A Ukrainian group helping victims of domestic abuse says the conflict in eastern Ukraine has led to a dramatic upsurge in violence against women across the country.

'Cutthroats And Bandits': Volunteer's Stint With Ukraine Rebels Turns To Nightmare

A Russian businessman who spent six months alongside insurgents in eastern Ukraine returns with tales of looting, drinking, and murder.

Russian Wildfire Relief Takes Backseat To Donbas Aid Convoys

As wildfires burn, leaving thousands homeless in Russia's Khakasia region in Siberia, activists say they are having difficulty getting donated aid to victims.
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