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Tracking Islamic State
In a dramatic eyewitness account of the events immediately preceding the Iraqi Army's withdrawal from Ramadi, an Iraqi serviceman describes how government forces were left depleted, woefully undersupplied, and unable to counter the attacking IS militants. More
How Russia Is Ruled
Kaliningrad has a history of being something of a harbinger. Are recent local elections the latest example? More
Regional Smoke Detector
Efforts to save the Ossetian language are running up against a host of problems on both sides of Russia's border with a breakaway Georgian republic, contributing to fears that both forms of Ossetian might ultimately slip into obscurity. More
Odds, Ends, And Autocrats
Russian children's rights ombudsman Pavel Astakhov has incensed his critics by condoning marriages between adults and minors and saying some women are "shriveled" by the time they are 27 years of age. More
The Russian Investigative Committee says it has a "sincere" witness who claims a Ukrainian jet took down Malaysian Airlines flight MH17. But other emerging evidence further supports the widely accepted theory that the plane was shot down by a Buk missile fired from separatist-held territory. More
Lyudmila Alekseyeva, one of Russia's most outspoken and widely respected rights advocates, has returned to President Vladimir Putin's council on human rights and civil society three years after quitting the advisory body. More
Blogging Central Asia
Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan have agreed to their maritime border in the Caspian Sea despite the continued lack of agreement on the legal status of the Caspian among its five littoral states. More
Notes Of An Iran Watcher
Iranian authorities have sent a celebrated journalist Ahmad Zeidabadi into internal exile after nearly six years in prison, dashing the hopes of his family and displaying continued intolerance for freedom of speech in the Islamic republic. More
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