Thursday, July 31, 2014


Odds, Ends, And Autocrats

An Orthodox priest blesses pro-Russian separatist commander Igor Strelkov (left) during a religious service in the eastern city of Donetsk on July 10.

Separatist Commander 'Strelkov' Bans Cursing

Pro-Russian separatists appear to have their backs against the wall, but their enigmatic leader may have found a solution: Stop cursing. More

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Power Vertical

How Russia Is Ruled

A piece of the wreckage is seen at a crash site of the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in the village of Petropavlivka in eastern Ukraine

The Kremlin Floats An Exit Strategy

Andrei Kolesnikov's recent column, in which he says the Kremlin would wash its hands of the separatists in eastern Ukraine if they were indeed proven to be responsible for the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, is either a trial balloon or a signal of a policy shift. More

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Abuses Uncovered

Azerbaijani rights advocate Leyla Yunus (right) was detained in Baku with her husband in April.

Azeri Rights Activist Charged With Treason

Prominent Azerbaijani human rights activist Leyla Yunus has been charged with several crimes, among them treason, tax evasion, and illegal entrepreneurship. More

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Qishloq Ovozi

Blogging Central Asia

Is the writing on the wall for Russia's dominance of Central Asia -- no matter what Vladimir Putin may say?

Russia's In The Driver's Seat, But China's Buying The Car

While Russia does maintain a series of levers in Central Asia -- cultural, economic, militaristic -- these levers will not remain in perpetuity. China doesn't yet dictate Central Asia's direction and sway, but it seems to be just a matter of time before it does.. More

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Persian Letters

Notes Of An Iran Watcher

PHOTO GALLERY: In a dramatic scene at a scheduled public execution, an Iranian woman spared the life of her son's killer as he stood with a noose around his neck. The victim's relatives were tasked with pushing the chair out from under the convicted killer, but instead the victim's mother slapped him and then forgave him. The scene was captured in photographs by Arash Khamooshi of Iran's semiofficial ISNA news agency.

Photogallery Wave Of Forgiveness Washes Over Iran

Despite the regime's endorsement of capital punishment as a crime deterrent, a wave of mercy and forgiveness has gripped Iran. More

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