Friday, January 30, 2015

Under The Black Flag

Tracking Islamic State

Rafik Mambetaliev, the head of the Kyrgyz Interior Ministry's Department for Combating Organized Crime, speaking to RFE/RL earlier this week.

Kyrgyz Nationals Join IS In Syria 'For Ideology Not Money'

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

Power Vertical

How Russia Is Ruled

Video Lukashenka's Brussels Gambit

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

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Caucasus Report

Regional Smoke Detector

Emzar Kvitsiani in a February 2014 photograph

Georgian Court Releases Jailed Warlord

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

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Ukraine Unspun

New Competing Claims On Downing Of MH17

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

Dressed in the colors of the Russian flag, Mashani's musical ode to President Vladimir Putin has already garnered tens of thousands of views on YouTube.

Video New Pro-Putin Song Gets Panned Online

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

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Abuses Uncovered

A demonstrator in Kyiv holds aloft a picture of the Ukrainian army officer captured by pro-Russian insurgents and taken to Russia, Nadia Savchenko, with the words "Free Nadia Savchenko."

Ukrainian Pilot In Russian Custody Transferred To Prison Hospital

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

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Qishloq Ovozi

Blogging Central Asia

Tajik President Emomali Rahmon

Tajikistan Takes On The God Squad

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

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Persian Letters

Notes Of An Iran Watcher

Iranian acid attack victim, Davood Roshanayi, talks to reporters

Iranian Punishment For Acid Attacker Delayed

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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