On April 4, Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban scored a victory in his campaign against Western-backed institutions and companies when the parliament gave him the O.K. to shutter Central European University (CEU) in Budapest.
The move helps Orban tighten his grip on power and may well spell the end for CEU, a prestigious and financially independent institution funded by Hungarian-born George Soros, a U.S. financier who has given heavily to liberal causes around the globe.
In Budapest, tens of thousands of people, mainly students, marched in protest at the treatment of CEU on consecutive weekends in April. But Orban won’t be inclined to back down. His growing control of Hungary’s traditional media ensures favorable coverage for the government and few opportunities for the fragmented opposition to make its case.
Continue reading Viktor Orban Is Turning Hungary Into Europe’s Black Sheep
The conversation was held in the framework of telephone negotiations between the leaders of the Normandy Quartet on the situation in Donbas
President of Russian Federation Vladimir Putin held a telephone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.
Continue reading Putin, Poroshenko talk on phone, – Kremlin
From the northern tip of the Baltics to the southern edge of the Balkans, Russia is stepping up spying on its neighbors, according to numerous reports from the region.
The most recent notice of such activity comes from Estonia, whose intelligence service’s annual report says the “Baltic Sea area is especially vulnerable to threats from Russia.”
According to Estonia’s national intelligence service, Russia, acting through its military intelligence agency, the GRU, and its Federal Security Service, or FSB, has taken a special interest in the foreign and security policies, defense planning, armed forces, arms development, and military capabilities of its neighbors.
Continue reading A new report says Russia is intensifying its spy game in Eastern Europe
The FBI obtained a secret court order last summer to monitor the communications of an adviser to presidential candidate Donald Trump, part of an investigation into possible links between Russia and the campaign, law enforcement and other U.S. officials said.
The FBI and the Justice Department obtained the warrant targeting Carter Page’s communications after convincing a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court judge that there was probable cause to believe Page was acting as an agent of a foreign power, in this case Russia, according to the officials.
Continue reading FBI obtained FISA warrant to monitor Trump adviser Carter Page
Two explosions on a train in a metro station in St Petersburg have injured several people, local media reports.
At least 10 people were injured, the RIA news agency reports, while Interfax reported there appear to have been two explosions.
Continue reading St Petersburg metro explosions: At least 10 dead and 20 injured reported after blast on subway in Russia
MOSCOW — Not everyone who has a quarrel with Russian President Vladimir Putin dies in violent or suspicious circumstances – far from it. But enough loud critics of Putin’s policies have been murdered that Thursday’s daylight shooting of a Russian who sought asylum in Ukraine has led to speculation of Kremlin involvement.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called the shooting in Kiev of Denis Voronenkov, a former Russian Communist Party member who began sharply criticizing Putin after fleeing Russia in 2016, an “act of state terrorism by Russia.”
That drew a sharp rebuke from Putin’s spokesman, who called the accusation “absurd.” Throughout the years, the Kremlin has always dismissed the notion of political killings with scorn.
But Putin’s critics couldn’t help drawing parallels with the unexplained deaths of other Kremlin foes. “I have an impression – I hope it’s only an impression – that the practice of killing political opponents has started spreading in Russia,” said Gennady Gudkov, a former parliamentarian and ex-security services officer, to the Moscow Times.
Here are some outspoken critics of Putin who were killed or died mysteriously.
Continue reading Here are 10 critics of Vladimir Putin who died violently or in suspicious ways