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January 28: U.S. President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address.
The Week Ahead is a detailed listing of key events of the coming week affecting RFE/RL's broadcast region.
Now on Twitter! Daily updates at @The_Week_Ahead.

MONDAY, January 27:

Council of Europe: Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) winter session opens in Strasbourg (to January 31).

Georgia/Israel: Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili visits Jerusalem (to January 28).

Iran: A group of prominent former diplomats, known as "the elders," visits Tehran to boost dialogue between Iran and the international community.

Kazakhstan/Lithuania: Kazakh Foreign Minister Erlan Idrissov visits Vilnius.

NATO: Release of the Secretary-General’s Annual Report for 2013.

Russia: The Moscow City Court resumes hearings into the murder of Russian investigative reporter and human rights campaigner Anna Politkovskaya.

Russia: The 70th anniversary of the end of the Siege of Leningrad.

Serbia/Kosovo: The Belgrade-Pristina dialogue resumes in Brussels, with mediation by EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.

UN: International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

TUESDAY, January 28:

EU/Russia: Russian President Putin visits Brussels to attend the 32nd Russia-European Union summit.

Kazakhstan/Hungary: Kazakh Foreign Minister Erlan Idrissov visits Budapest (to January 29).

Turkey/Iran: Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan visits Tehran (to January 29).

Ukraine: An extraordinary session of Ukrainian parliament opens in Kyiv.

Ukraine/EU: A delegation of the European Parliament visits Kiev for talks amid ongoing protests spreading across Ukraine (to January 30).

U.S.: George Washington University hosts a discussion titled "Breaking the News: The Role of Authoritarian State-Run Media."

U.S.: President Barack Obama delivers his 2014 State of the Union address.

WEDNESDAY, January 29:

EU/Ukraine: EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton is scheduled to visit Kyiv.

Kazakhstan/Latvia: Kazakh Foreign Minister Erlan Idrissov visits Riga.

THURSDAY, January 30:

EU/Latvia: EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton visits Riga.

FRIDAY, January 31:

Azerbaijan: Azerbaijan marks the 130th anniversary of the birth of Mammad Amin Rasulzade, the founder of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic in 1918.

Balkans: The 20th anniversary of beginning of the RFE/RL broadcasting to countries of the former Yugoslavia.

Germany: The 50th Munich Security Conference opens (to February 2).

Iran: Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is scheduled to attend the Munich Security Conference in Germany.

World: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) releases new data on international arms production.

SATURDAY, February 1:

Iran: Tehran hosts the Fajr International Film Festival (to February 11).

UN: World Interfaith Harmony Week (to February 7).

SUNDAY, February 2:

Moldova: Autonomous Moldovan region of Gagauzia holds referendum, although a Moldovan court ruled that doing so is unconstitutional.

A police officer stands near a checkpoint at the RusSki Gorki Ski Jumping Center in Krasnaya Polyana near Sochi.
With the Winter Olympics beginning in Sochi in just over two weeks, questions continue to linger -- about the security situation, about the Russia's controversial "gay propaganda" law, and about alleged corruption that has made these games the most expensive in Olympic history.

In the first in our series of conversations about the Sochi Olympics, RFE/RL's Brian Whitmore led a discussion on January 23 with guests in Moscow and Prague about the dynamics that may distract the world from the actual competition. (Also here and on YouTube here.)


Irina Lagunina -- Director of RFE/RL's Russian Service, Radio Svoboda, where she previously served as a senior broadcaster and host of the daily analytical radio journal “Time & World.” Prior to joining RFE/RL in 1995, Lagunina worked as the foreign policy and diplomatic editor for the Russian magazine “New Times" and the “Moscow News.” She was in the media pool of the Russian Foreign Ministry, covering the end of the Soviet invasion in Afghanistan, wars in the former Yugoslavia, and ethnic conflicts in the former Soviet Union. She also contributed to the 1999 study “Kosovo News & Propaganda War” by The International Press Institute in Vienna, Austria.

Anastasia Kirilenko -- Correspondent with RFE/RL's Moscow bureau, where she has worked since 2009 and is the author of several investigative reports, most recently about the Sochi Olympics. Kirilenko has an MA in journalism from Moscow State University and graduated from the Faculty of International Relations and Law at Novosibirsk State University of Economics and Management in 2006. She has also contributed to the online platforms "Caucasian Knot" and "Courier International."

Ekaterina Sokirianskaya -- North Caucasus project director with International Crisis Group, supervising activities and advocacy efforts in the region. Before joining ICG, she held positions at the Memorial Human Rights Center from 2007-08 in Russia's republics of Chechnya, Daghestan, and Kabardino-Balkaria, and was a researcher and programs supervisor for the republics of Chechnya, Ingushetia, and North Ossetia. Sokirianskaya holds a doctoral degree from Central European University, has taught courses as assistant professor at Chechen State University, is a member of the Expert Council with the Ombudsman of the Russian Federation, is a board member of International Memorial, and is the author of numerous publications, public lectures, and successful short documentaries.

Brian Whitmore, Moderator -- Europe desk editor for RFE/RL's Central Newsroom and author of "The Power Vertical" blog.

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About This Blog

Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at

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