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Ukraine's ultranationalist Right Sector group has poured scorn on allegations that the business card of one of its leaders Dmytro Yarosh (pictured) was found at the scene of a shoot-out near Slovyansk. It seems a large portion of the Internet community has also scoffed at the claim. (file photo)
If Dmytro Yarosh, the leader of the Ukrainian far-right group Right Sector, wasn't known to the world before, he is well on his way now.

Yarosh shot to fame overnight, literally, after the Russian news site Lifenews claimed his business card was found at the scene of a deadly shoot-out at a checkpoint manned by pro-Russian activists in eastern Ukraine.

The Russian Foreign Ministry has expressed outrage over the attack, saying it was a "provocation," which showed that Kyiv was not implementing the agreement struck this week in Geneva that called for a de-escalation of the crisis.

Russian media blamed the attack on Ukrainian nationalists, providing the business card as evidence.

Right Sector has denied any involvement in the shoot-out, in which at least three people were killed.

In an interview with Ukraine's Channel 5 television station, Right Sector spokesman Artem Skoropadskyy said the Kremlin "staged an act of provocation." He also noted that the business cards were reportedly found in "completely burned-out vehicles," a claim he said was "completely absurd."

Whatever the case, an Internet meme was quickly born, with mocking images of Yarosh's black-and red business card bearing his name, phone number, and e-mail address being tied to many of the world's biggest mysteries.

The meme eventually earned itself its own Twitter account and a search hashtag #ВизиткаЯроша with numerous tweets and retweets posted in several different languages.

We compiled some of the better examples:


Alexander Fodorov: Yanukovych didn't return because now you need Yarosh's business card to enter the Ukrainian border.

Paul Bardar: JK Rowling has begun writing a new book: Harry Potter and Yarosh's Business Card

Feeling depressed? Anxious? Lonely? Yarosh's business card will help you! Say "no" to depression!

Ilya Ogurtsov: It's known that Doctor Who uses Yarosh's business card to get anywhere he wants.
-- Farangis Najibullah
Kazakh celebrity magazine "Zhuldyzdar Otbasy-Anyz Adam" came under fire this week after its latest issue, dedicated to Adolf Hitler, hit the newsstands.
Tabloid-style celebrity magazine "Zhuldyzdar Otbasy-Anyz Adam" ("The Family of Celebrities-Legendary People") has come under fire in Kazakhstan after devoting its latest issue to Adolf Hitler.

Kazakhstan's State Agency for Communications and Information said on April 18 that is investigating the magazine for possible violation of the country's constitution and the law against "inciting social, national, tribal, racial, or religious hatred."

While the 52-page Hitler issue provides the usual biographical information and photos from the Nazi leader's life, it appears to have stirred up authorities' ire by including some flattering assessments of Hitler and his role in history.

"Hitler Isn't A Fascist" reads the headline of an article by Kazakh civic activist Naghashybai Esmyrza.

"For me, Hitler is a great personality," Esmyrza writes.

"I accept that Hitler was a dictator but he fought for the future of his country. He wanted to make people's lives better.... Hitler was criticized for experimenting with people in concentration camps. It's true he did those experiments. But that was nothing compared with what the Bolsheviks did."

The magazine has not yet responded to criticism over its Hitler issue, which was published just a few days before the Nazi leader's 125th birthday.

However, chief editor Zharylkap Kalybay had previously announced on his Facebook page that he was going to devote one of the magazine's issues to Hitler, and asked for readers' comments and questions.

On his Facebook account, Kalybay drew comparisons between what he described as growing nationalism in Russia and similar sentiments in Germany under Hitler.

He also mentioned parallels being drawn between Hitler and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"Are Putin and Hitler's activities similar in some ways?" he wrote. "We are trying to find the answer."

The private, Kazakh-language, 25,000-circulation magazine is popular across the country.

Its success and survival is attributed to staying clear of politics and political families.

The magazine's previous cover photos included well-known Kazakh actor Asaneli Eshimov, French Emperor Napoleon, and characters from a Kazakh love poem, Kozy-Korpesh and Bayan Sulu.

While the magazine has always played it safe by distancing itself from politics, chief editor Kalybay is no stranger to controversy.

Kalybay was briefly arrested in 2013 over a row aboard a "Skat" airlines plane, where he demanded that stewardesses speak only Kazakh with him.

The editor was accused of hooliganism, and spent three days in jail.

-- Farangis Najibullah and RFE/RL's Kazakh Service

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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 transmission+rferl.org

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