KRWG

Charles Maynes

Updated January 13, 2022 at 1:39 PM ET

MOSCOW — First U.S. and Russian diplomats faced off in Geneva. Then NATO received a Russian delegation in Brussels. Finally, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe sponsored talks in Vienna Thursday.

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Thousands of protesters have been out in the streets and storming government buildings in cities all across Kazakhstan. And we've just gotten word that protesters have seized the airport in the country's largest city.

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The Russian government has released a list of demands regarding security guarantees for Europe. The list, handed to a U.S. envoy in Moscow this week, amounts to a do-over of European history since the end of the Cold War. NPR's Charles Maynes is here with us now. Charles, so what is on the list?

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Editor's note: As the 2021 U.N. Climate Change Summit convenes, NPR's Picture Show is taking a look at work by artists and visual journalists that highlight climate change.


Vlad Sokhin's interest in climate change came from his own global upbringing.

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MOSCOW — Russia's capital entered a 10-day partial lockdown on Thursday — as the rest of Russia braced for a series of COVID-19 restrictions aimed at stemming the spread of a virus that has set, and continuously reset, records over the past month for daily fatalities and infections.

On Thursday, the government's coronavirus task force reported the latest grim milestone — a record-high 40,096 infections and 1,159 deaths in the past 24 hours alone.

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We have a report now on the latest place for on-location filmmaking. A Russian film crew docked at the International Space Station, intending to make the world's first-ever movie in orbit. Charles Maynes reports from Moscow.

Updated October 2, 2021 at 3:08 PM ET

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia — Descendants of the czarist Romanov dynasty were married in the country's first royal wedding in over a century — kicking off a weekend of lavish events that sparked public curiosity, awe and derision in seemingly equal measure.

MOSCOW — It has been more than a month since the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, and Sergei Opalev is still trying to wrap his head around the chaotic end to America's 20-year war.

It's not the defeat that confounds him — he understands that part all too well. Opalev served as a captain in the Soviet army as it was gradually humbled by Afghan mujahedeen fighters during a decade of war in the 1980s.

The problem, he says, is how U.S. forces left.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin is in self-isolation because of a COVID-19 outbreak among his inner circle of staff, according to the Kremlin.

Putin said he got his second COVID-19 vaccine in April, but received the shots off camera.

A U.S. diplomat warns that her Belarusian American husband's health is in "immediate danger" following his late-July arrest by security forces of the authoritarian Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.

Russian President Vladimir Putin provided a limited lifeline to Alexander Lukashenko as the Belarusian strongman paid a visit to the Russian city of Sochi on Monday amid the biggest crisis of his 26-year rule.

For the past four weeks, Belarusians have repeatedly taken to the streets demanding Lukashenko's resignation following an August presidential election that demonstrators say was rigged to keep Lukashenko in power.

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In Belarus, another member of the country's opposition has been detained by security agents — the latest in a series of disappearances that have prompted the country's most famous living author, Nobel laureate Svetlana Alexievich, to speak out against "terror against the people."

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Updated at 8:25 p.m. ET Tuesday

Belarusian authorities say an opposition leader who disappeared Monday has been detained by police while trying to flee the country for neighboring Ukraine.

Maria Kolesnikova was last seen Monday morning when masked men plucked her off the streets of central Minsk and sped off in a van, according to local media reports.

The Kremlin is racing to put down a health crisis in the southern republic of Dagestan, where a surge in recent deaths unattributed to the coronavirus is again raising questions about the severity of the outbreak and how Russia tallies its COVID-19 dead.

The United States delivered 50 ventilators to Russia on Thursday, part of a humanitarian aid package worth $5.6 million to help Moscow fight the coronavirus, U.S. officials said.

Another batch of 150 American-made ventilators will head to Russia next week, according to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.

In a statement, the U.S. Embassy called the delivery "rapid fulfillment" of a request Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed on recent phone calls with President Trump.

A Russian art project intended to ward off the lockdown blues has become a viral sensation on Facebook as pent-up Russian speakers from across the globe reenact paintings to pass the time amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Called Izoizolyacia — roughly meaning "Art Isolation" — the Facebook group says it's for people with "limited movement and unlimited fantasy." It invites members to re-create masterworks but with one important restriction of its own: Use only what you have at home.

The coronavirus pandemic has hit the global business of surrogate birthing, leaving many infants and their new parents thousands of miles apart.

In Ukraine, the company BioTexCom, which runs a human reproduction center in Kyiv, brought attention to the issue when it released a video showing dozens of babies in rows of cots, apparently waiting for their parents to collect them.

As the number of coronavirus infections surges in Russia, observers have puzzled over a mystery: How is it that a country with over 250,000 suspected cases, and a shaky health care system, has had relatively few deaths?

The answer appears to be the Russian approach to pathology — an approach that has the Kremlin and government health officials in a bitter feud with media organizations over how Moscow interprets, or possibly manipulates, its data.

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