Thursday, September 01, 2016


Olga Vasilyeva has promised to support teachers, who struggle with low salaries, but critics are worried by her apparent praise of Stalin and emphasis on "spiritual values," among other things.

Critics Of Russia's New Education Minister See Threat To Secular Values

The appointment of Olga Vasilyeva as Russia's new education minister has outraged many educators and liberal commentators, who say that her defense of Soviet policies and ties to the Orthodox faith make her a questionable choice to head one of the biggest networks of secular academic institutions in the world. More

Czech athlete Vera Caslavska celebrates one of her triumphs at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico. She is still the only gymnast to have won Olympic gold medals in every individual event.

Vera Caslavska, Czech Olympic Gymnastics Great Who Protested 1968 Invasion, Dead at 74

Vera Caslavska, the Czech gymnast who won seven Olympic gold medals in the 1960s but was punished by the communist authorities for voicing opposition to the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968, has died at the age of 74 after a battle with cancer. RFE/RL takes a look back at her life. More

Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov

Turkmen Leader Plans Rare Visit To Berlin, With Call For Merkel To Target Ashgabat's Rights Record

Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov visits Berlin on August 29 to discuss economic relations with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Human rights activists hope she will use the opportunity to urge him to end repression in his country. More

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev shows off a new BMW to synchronized swimmer Natalia Ishchenko, who won gold at the Rio Olympics on August 16. It's not known if Ishchenko was the swimmer selling her new car, however.

New BMW Goes On Sale In Russia, One Day After Being Awarded To Gold Medalists

For Sale: 2016 BMW X6 II luxury crossover. Low mileage. White exterior. Black interior. Acquired first-hand from the president of the Russian Federation. Asking $73,000. More

Local residents surround the body of Aleksandr Tsukerman in the middle of a dirt road in the southern village of Krivoye Ozero.

Death At Hands Of Police Sparks Public Anger, Reform Pledge In South Ukraine

Ukraine's interior minister has vowed there won't be any "whitewash" as authorities investigate the death this week of a 31-year-old man at the hands of a half-dozen policemen with the man's family looking on. More


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Survivors Of Attack At American University Of Afghanistan Recall Terror

Here are the accounts of four survivors of the 10-hour assault by gunmen on the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul. At least 13 people were killed in the attack. Survivors describe barricading themselves behind classroom doors, clinging to the floor as shots rang out meters away, and suffering injuries as they and others scrambled to reach safety.
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Afghan Girl's Death Has Iranians Questioning Ban On Organ Transplants For Foreigners

The death of a 12-year-old Afghan girl in Iran has prompted that country's health minister to publicly defend a national ban on organ transplants for foreigners that some were initially blaming for the tragedy.
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Audio Slide Show Behind The Scenes In Ukraine, Ties To Putin Help Power Broker Pull Strings 

A tycoon and power broker with close ties to Vladimir Putin, Viktor Medvedchuk has influenced policy for two tumultuous decades in Ukraine. As a peace deal he helped push through in a conflict with Russia-backed separatists threatens to unravel, the outsize role of a man critics call the "Prince of Darkness" is in the spotlight again.
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Punitive Medicine? Crimean Tatars Shaken By Leader's Confinement To Mental Asylum

Russia's confinement of a Tatar activist to a psychiatric clinic in Crimea is raising fears that Moscow is reviving a Soviet-era practice to intimidate opponents of the peninsula's annexation into silence.
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Video Interview: Putin-Mask Protester 'Safe' In Ukraine After Midnight Run From Russia

An in-depth interview with Roman Roslovtsev, the anti-Kremlin activist known for staging one-man protests while wearing a rubber Putin mask, who is now asking Ukraine to provide him sanctuary.
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Iranian Journalists Alarmed As Media Legislation Resurfaces

Journalists in Iran are sounding the alarm over a government-drafted media regulation bill that is expected to be sent to the parliament for approval soon, after a two-year delay.
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Guerrilla War In Tbilisi: Activists Battle City Hall To Preserve Georgian Capital's Shrinking Green Spaces

Rampant development in Tbilisi is pitting city hall against a feisty group of activists determined to preserve what's left of the city's green spaces.
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Surge In Women's Suicides Alarms Kazakh Province

More women are taking their own lives in South Kazakhstan, but it's not clear why.
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