Nina Ognianova/Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator

Nina Ognianova is coordinator of CPJ’s Europe and Central Asia Program. A native of Bulgaria, Ognianova has carried out numerous fact-finding and advocacy missions across the region. Her commentaries on press freedom have appeared in the Guardian, the International Herald Tribune, the Huffington Post, and the EU Observer, among others. Follow her on Twitter @Kremlinologist1

Azerbaijan defiant in the face of criticism

A week after the Committee to Protect Journalists released its special report on the current state of press freedom in Azerbaijan, “Finding Elmar’s Killers,” Ali Hasanov, head of public affairs at the office of President Ilham Aliyev, told local journalists: “Azerbaijan has done enough work to attain political pluralism, freedom of expression and of the…

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Beyond the Bulgarian umbrella

“The current situation has made it necessary for the First Main Directorate (PGU) of [Russia’s] KGB to give the First Main Directorate of [Bulgaria’s] Ministry of Internal Affairs the following special means: devices for silent, mechanical ejection of special needles, containing swift poisons. …” The above is an excerpt from Addendum 13 of the “Perspective…

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Trey Parker, left, and Matt Stone, creators of "South Park" (AP)

‘South Park’ too extreme for Russia?

Well, that was it for Kenny. Not only does the “South Park” character die (again) in Episode 46 of the popular animated series–“Mr. Hankey’s Christmas Classics”–he may now be killed altogether from Russian television. On September 3, Moscow prosecutors filed a legal claim against “South Park,” saying the cartoon exhibited “signs of extremist activity.” The…

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Putin and the tiger

This Monday, the fourth anniversary of the Beslan school hostage crisis, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin sedated a Siberian tiger to save–or so legend has it–a state television crew. As survivors of the Beslan tragedy gathered at the graveyard outside the North Ossetian town to mourn the more than 330 victims–mostly children–killed in the massacre,…

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