Elizabeth's Feed
Jul 29, 2015

Special Report: Ukraine struggles to control maverick battalions

KIEV (Reuters) – From a basement billiard club in central Kiev, Dmytro Korchynsky commands a volunteer battalion helping Ukraine’s government fight rebels in the east. A burly man with a long, Cossack-style moustache, Korchynsky has several hundred armed men at his disposal. The exact number, he said, is “classified.”

In the eyes of many Ukrainians, he and other volunteer fighters are heroes for helping the weak regular army resist pro-Russian separatists. In the view of the government, however, some of the volunteers have become a problem, even a law unto themselves.

Jul 13, 2015

Ukraine’s Poroshenko says ‘illegal groups’ must disarm after standoff

KIEV (Reuters) – President Petro Poroshenko ordered Ukraine’s security services and police on Monday to disarm “illegal groups”, saying they threatened to further destabilize a country fighting separatists in its east.

Poroshenko said a weekend standoff between members of a far-right group and police in the western town of Mukacheve, close to the border with Hungary, Slovakia and Romania, was simply a turf war over smuggling routes.

Jul 12, 2015

Far right group challenges Ukraine government after shootout

KIEV (Reuters) – A Ukrainian far right group demanded the resignation of the interior minister and said it would block roads around Kiev on Sunday in a standoff over a fatal gun battle that challenges the authority of the government.

Kiev has called on Right Sector, which played a prominent role in protests that toppled Moscow-backed President Viktor Yanukovich a year ago, to lay down their weapons after a shootout on Saturday in the town of Mukacheve killed at least two people.

Jul 6, 2015

Ukraine launches Western-style police force to set a marker for reform

KIEV (Reuters) – The first 2,000 recruits of a new Ukrainian police force passed out in the capital Kiev at the weekend, intended by the government as a visible sign of its commitment to shake off a deep-rooted culture of corruption in public institutions.

Trained by U.S. and Canadian forces, and given less militaristic uniforms and the name ‘Politsiya’ to mark a break with the old, Soviet-style ‘Militsiya’, the young officers pledged to forsake the bribes associated with their job.

Jun 17, 2015

Patience runs low as crisis bites in Russia’s Astrakhan

ASTRAKHAN, Russia (Reuters) – With oil and gas, fish in the nearby Caspian Sea and a warm climate, Astrakhan should be one of Russia’s richest provinces.

It isn’t, and for years many people in this southern region of more than 1 million have accepted their position near the bottom of Russia’s leader board. But patience is wearing thin.

Jun 16, 2015

Insight – Patience runs low as crisis bites in Russia’s Astrakhan

ASTRAKHAN, Russia (Reuters) – With oil and gas, fish in the nearby Caspian Sea and a warm climate, Astrakhan should be one of Russia’s richest provinces.

It isn’t, and for years many people in this southern region of more than 1 million have accepted their position near the bottom of Russia’s leader board. But patience is wearing thin.

May 10, 2015

No respite for candy factory caught up in Russia-Ukraine crisis

LIPETSK, Russia, May 10 (Reuters) – The fortunes of the
Russian outpost of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s candy
empire have ebbed and flowed with the Russian-backed separatist
conflict in the east of his country.

If the factory turning out toffees and jellied sweets in the
southwestern town of Lipetsk is a bellwether for the direction
of relations between Moscow and Kiev, things do not look good.

Apr 28, 2015

Russians seethe over Western snub of war anniversary parade

MOSCOW (Reuters) – One of Boris Lisitsyn’s happiest memories is of being swept by a huge, joyous crowd through the streets of Moscow and onto Red Square in spontaneous celebrations when World War Two ended in Europe.

He was too young to fight but, like most Russians, sees the defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945 as one of his nation’s great achievements, albeit as part of the Soviet Union.

Apr 10, 2015

Russian middle class slowly stirred to action by economic crisis

MOSCOW, April 10 (Reuters) – It was when her nine-year-old
son said he wanted to be ill to keep her home that Ekaterina
Chatskaya knew the cuts at her Moscow clinic had gone too far
and she was working too many hours.

The 33-year-old Russian gynaecologist said her work burden
became unbearable when management announced new job losses in
November. Unable to cope, she and dozens of other doctors in
Moscow started a “work-to-rule” action – refusing to work beyond
their official contract hours – to try to protect a health
service they say is being driven to ruin.

Mar 29, 2015

Russia’s rich forego some luxuries but still back Putin

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian model Alisa Krylova canceled her order for the latest Mercedes, spent New Year in Moscow rather than skiing in the Alps and now employs Russian staff rather than foreigners.

The former Mrs Russia and Mrs Globe beauty pageant winner is among Russia’s super rich but even she and many of her wealthy friends are feeling the pinch from the economic crisis.