In Belarus, subscribing to social media could lead to jail

Azerbaijan also accuses Iran of invading and more, football riots across the region.

The big story: Subscribers to banned social media channels in Belarus marked as “extremist”

What happened: Belarusian Authorities brood Prison sentences up to seven years for subscribers of Social media channels is considered “extremist,” reports Reuters. The Directorate General for Combating Organized Crime said in a statement released Tuesday that “subscribers to extremist Telegram channels and chats will be held criminally liable … as members of an extremist group”.

More context: Channels on telegram, as well as other social media apps, were instrumental in the unrest that followed Presidential election in Belarus in August 2020, the results of which are still being contested by the opposition. Nexta, the largest “extremist” Belarusian media company with 1 million Telegram subscribers, dismissed the news of the convictions as “rubbish,” reports the Moscow Times. “Thank you to everyone who helped the junta intimidate people and reduce the number of people reading independent Telegram channels,” Nexta said.

Worthless: Cyber ​​activists in Belarus said they used a drone Dropping 10 liters of “incendiary mix” on a building connected to riot police in Minsk last month, Euronews reports. A spokesman for the Busly Latsyats (Flying Storks) group, which was formed last November, did not provide any information about the extent of the damage or whether anyone was injured.

News from the regions

Central Europe and the Baltic States

  • Hungary will receive the technology necessary for the manufacture of the Russian Sputnik-V coronavirus vaccine this year, reports Reuters. Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said during a visit to Moscow today that, given the enormous global demand for the Russian vaccine, Budapest “has an economic interest in participating in its production”. Szijjarto added that Hungary and Russia had signed a “political agreement” to manufacture Sputnik in Hungary. The EU member state has used the Russian shot in its coronavirus vaccination campaign, despite the European Medicines Agency has not approved it for use.
  • In other news from Hungary, fans of the national soccer team joined in British police during one World Championship Qualifier, AP reports. The riots occurred in the 1-1 draw against England Wembley Stadium on Tuesday. According to a statement by the Metropolitan Police, “officials went into the stands to arrest a spectator for a racially aggravated public order violation after speaking to a steward”. For another soccer game on the same day Poland Players left the field after fans walked in Albania threw bottles at her. Polish striker Karol Swiderski was hit by a bottle after scoring for Poland, after which the game was suspended for around 20 minutes.

Southeast Europe

  • A Shipwreck from the north Black Sea coast draws attention to systemic problems Bulgaria, Euronews reports. The Panama-registered semi-floating cargo ship Vera SU stranded on the rocks near the Yaylata nature reserve on September 20 and is now considered a sunken ship. Environment Minister Asen Lichev said last month that the risk of a Oil spill was prevented by the dumping of the marine fuel, but environmentalists fear that 3,300 tons Nitrogen fertilizer leak in the ship’s cargo and cause pollution that could adversely affect marine life in the area. Bulgarian President Rumen Radev said the country was not ready to deal with such an incident; he said earlier this week that he blamed Bulgaria’s years of “vicious and wasteful model of government” for the matter.
  • A wealthy businessman and local official in the Romanian capital allegedly used offshore firms to hijack public funds, according to company data and prosecutor’s files Pandora papers obtained by OCCRP. Six companies in the British Virgin Islands owned by the mayor of the third district of Bucharest Robert Negoita and his brother Ionut were involved in transferring millions of euros to Romanian real estate companies affiliated with the brothers. A confidential report by the public prosecutor’s office shows that between 2012 and 2014 more than 83 million euros in building maintenance funds were paid out in Bucharest, more than half of which ended up in the Negoita brothers’ companies.

Eastern Europe and Russia

  • Russia refused to deliberately withhold deliveries to cause an increase in deliveries Fuel prices above Europereports the BBC. Russian President Vladimir Putin said such claims were “complete rubbish … and politically motivated banter”. Putin said yesterday at a Moscow energy forum that Europe was to blame for the current energy crisis, which resulted from insufficient gas quantities in the storage facilities after last winter. Putin said that Gazprom Sending maximum quantities of gas to Europe under existing contracts and was even able to increase deliveries on request. The Russian head of state added that it was “very important” to “propose a long-term mechanism to stabilize the energy market”.
  • the Moldovan government yesterday a law on the transparency of changed Corporate ownership, BIRN reports. The amendments to the Law on State Registration of Legal Entities and Sole Proprietors require the beneficiaries of all companies incorporated in non-transparent jurisdictions be made public. “We want to publicly present the real beneficiaries of the Moldovan companies founded by offshore companies,” said the chairman of the parliamentary committee on economy, budget and finance, Dumitru Alaiba, to BIRN. Similar laws passed in North Macedonia and Bulgaria has not brought any tangible results in the fight against corruption, money laundering and tax evasion.

The Caucasus

  • Amid the deteriorating relations between Baku and Tehran, Azerbaijan accused Iran intruding into its territory during an incident last year, Eurasianet reports. Azerbaijani officials alleged the Iranian armed forces were involved in a conflict flare-up last year Armenia Above Nagorno-Karabakh; They also accused Iranian clergy of a network of Secret agents in Azerbaijan and Iranian financial institutions from Washing billions of dollars through Nagorno-Karabakh. The allegations come in a report published last weekend by the Azerbaijani government-affiliated Caliber.az website. According to the report, the diplomatic crisis sparked by the Iranian invasion was kept secret at the time.

Central Asia

  • at Turkmenistan Upon request, YouTube blocked a channel connected to the US website Eurasianet, RFE / RL reports. The deactivation followed a complaint made by. was submitted to YouTube Watan Habarlary, the official television channel of the State Committee on Television, Radio and Cinematography of Turkmenistan, according to Eurasianet. David Trilling, Eurasianet’s executive editor, said his organization was looking for someone on YouTube to appeal the decision, adding that not only are their website and YouTube channel cut off in Turkmenistan, but YouTube itself is also cut. ” It’s ironic there [YouTube] is blocked in Turkmenistan … just like any other social media company, ”he told RFE / RL.

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