Ukraine’s new parliament was sworn in on Thursday. More than 400 members took their oaths, but 27 seats remained vacant — the annexation of Crimea, plus the war in eastern Ukraine, prevented deputies being elected there. It is just one year since people seeking democracy and prosperity began protesting in Kiev’s Maidan Square, leading to the downfall of a kleptocratic regime and descent of a new cold war in Europe. How rapidly the news agenda moves on. Crimea was the first annexation on the continent since 1945, but is now largely forgotten, despite prices soaring and people disappearing or dying under suspicious circumstances if they cross their new rulers.
Human Rights Watch has catalogued the import of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s trademark tactics of abusing activists and harassing journalists.