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Tracking Islamic State
Kyrgyz nationals heading to Syria to join militant groups including the Islamic State (IS) group are motivated by ideology rather than financial reward, according to Rafik Mambetaliev, the head of the Interior Ministry's Department for Combating Organized Crime. More
How Russia Is Ruled
The Daily Vertical is a video primer for Russia-watchers that will appear Monday through Friday. Viewers can submit suggested topics to address on Twitter @PowerVertical or on the Power Vertical Facebook page. More
Regional Smoke Detector
Emzar Kvitsiani is a controversial and larger-than-life figure whom a former Georgian president named in the late 1990s as his representative in the Kodori Gorge, the lower reaches of which are in Georgia proper and the upper reaches in the breakaway Republic of Abkhazia. 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
Odds, Ends, And Autocrats
A new Russian song heaping praise on President Vladimir Putin is sparking a storm of criticism online. "My Putin" praises the president's annexation of Crimea and urges him to "revive" the Soviet Union. More
A lawyer for Nadia Savchenko, a Ukrainian military pilot who has been on a hunger strike in a Russian jail since mid-December, has been transferred to a prison hospital due to severe weight loss. More
Blogging Central Asia
What exists in Tajikistan is not secularism where religion and non-religion are treated on an equal basis, but a secularism where certain forms of religion and non-religion are prioritized while others are suppressed. More
Notes Of An Iran Watcher
In a very rare ruling, a man who threw acid on another man in Tehran about a decade ago has been sentenced to be blinded based on the Islamic eye-for-an-eye retribution law. More
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