(I. LANDA/MUSIC VIDEO) "Before I get buried in comments like 'Putin is a totalitarian dictator responsible for Kursk, Nord-Ost, and Beslan,' I want to say that I am not trying to defend or praise him as a politician. The reason behind this subtitled video is that I want to try to expalin to foreigners why Putin is so popular in Russia. This video was intended to be humorous, of cause, but I hope it will help them understand my country just a little bit better. PS.
(AL JAZEERA) Giant ships rot like russet horses on barren land once submerged under the Aral sea. Sailors reminisce and rejoice the seas return.
(DEUTSCHE WELLE) In order to join the European Union, Lithuania agreed to close down its nuclear power plant, Ignalina. The Soviet-era technology is the same as that used at Chernobyl. Ignalina's first reactor block was shut down in 2004; the second is set to go offline next year. The problem is that it still provides two-thirds of the country's electricity, and now Lithuania says it wants to keep it running longer. A new, safer reactor could not be completed before 2015.
(DEUTSCHE WELLE) The war over the border between Russia and Georgia has revived bad memories in the Baltic States. 18 years ago, Moscow tried to prevent the independence of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia by force of arms. Now the Baltic countries feel threatened once more, fearing that Russia could move against them under the pretext of protecting Russian minorities. The situation is especially tense in Estonia.
(UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY) A film on the Karabakh conflict with Thomas de Waal, Institute of War and Peace Reporting. Part of the Contested Spaces Video Project, University of Sydney.
(AL JAZEERA) In this week's The Listening Post, Richard Gizbert puts Azerbaijan under the spotlight. Freedom of the press in the former Soviet republic has not moved on since pre-perestroika days. And with presidential elections on the horizon the government is cracking down further on journalists who refuse to tow the party line.
(AL JAZEERA) Azerbaijan has potentially lucrative oil reserves, but opposition politicians say widespread corruption has left revenues from the country's natural resources in the hands of a small number of government allies.
(JOURNEYMAN PICTURES) Kazakhstan's first soap opera, "Crossroads" is no ordinary Programme - it is teaching its viewers to come to terms with life after communism.
(JOURNEYMAN PICTURES) For decades, the Aral Sea has been described as dying and beyond salvation. But now, the water is flowing back, bringing economic revival and hope for the future. Fifty years ago, the Soviets diverted the rivers that fed into the Aral Sea to irrigate crops.