MOSCOW -- Before the Kremlin commented on the shocking legal drama unfolding over alleged activities at global soccer authority FIFA, the Russian Internet and other media lit up as Russians reacted to news of investigations that could cast a harsh light on Russia's successful bid to host the 2018 World Cup.
They knew it would not be a milestone event. But many in Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine nonetheless are finding it difficult to accept the results of the May 21-22 European Union gathering in Riga, Latvia.
RIGA -- Unlike the previous EU Eastern Partnership summit in 2013, which triggered the Ukraine crisis after the country's ex-president scuttled a deal on closer ties with Brussels, the summit that wrapped up May 22 is unlikely to send such shock waves across the continent.
At war over territories and ideology, Russia and Ukraine are also fighting over World War II, the conflict that bonded the two countries together for over a half century as part of the Soviet Union. But this struggle over history is not a straightforward one.
KOMOROVO, Tajikistan -- Night was falling across the Ferghana Valley in northern Tajikistan, and when the sun rose again 27-year-old Anvar Aliev was due to be married. Anvar had seen his wife-to-be just twice in his life, and they had never actually spoken.
Russian President Vladimir Putin got the world's attention on May 10 when, during a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, he unapologetically defended the infamous 1939 nonaggression pact between Adolf Hitler's Germany and Josef Stalin's Soviet Union.
The former president of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) once boldly predicted the Russian upstart would one day vie with North America's NHL as the world's top ice-hockey league. And for a brief period Aleksandr Medvedev seemed a credible soothsayer.
MOSCOW -- On the evening of February 25, the Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov came to his friend, Ilya Yashin, to ask for help with his latest investigation: a sensitive report on Russian soldiers secretly fighting in Ukraine.