Senior Arts & Entertainment Correspondent
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Mar 15, 2014

Crimeans get ready to vote under heavy military presence

SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine (Reuters) – Pro-Russian leaders in Crimea made final preparations on Saturday for a referendum widely expected to transfer control of the Black Sea peninsula from Ukraine to Moscow, despite the threat of sanctions and condemnation from Western governments.

Sunday’s vote, dismissed by Kiev as illegal, has triggered the worst East-West crisis since the Cold War, and ratcheted up tensions not only in Crimea but also eastern Ukraine, where two people were killed in clashes late on Friday.

Mar 15, 2014

Crimea to vote in Russia referendum, Moscow vetoes U.N. move

KIEV/SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine (Reuters) – Pro-Russian leaders in Crimea made final preparations on Saturday for a referendum widely expected to transfer control of the Black Sea region from Ukraine to Moscow, despite an outcry and threat of sanctions from the West.

Russia vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution that declared the referendum invalid, as Ukraine’s defense ministry said it scrambled aircraft and paratroops to confront a Russian encroachment beyond Crimea’s regional boundary.

Mar 15, 2014

Crimea prepares for referendum under heavy military presence

SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine (Reuters) – Pro-Russian leaders in Crimea made final preparations on Saturday for a referendum widely expected to transfer control of the Black Sea peninsula from Ukraine to Moscow, despite the threat of sanctions and condemnation from Western governments.

Sunday’s vote, dismissed by Kiev as illegal, has triggered the worst East-West crisis since the Cold War, and ratcheted up tensions not only in Crimea but also eastern Ukraine, where two people were killed in clashes late on Friday.

Mar 13, 2014

Far-right leader eyes Ukraine’s political middle ground

KIEV (Reuters) – When President Vladimir Putin justifies the armed occupation of Crimea by saying Russian-speakers in Ukraine need defending from “neo-fascists”, far-right leader Dmytro Yarosh is one of the main people he has in mind.

In the final days of Viktor Yanukovich’s rule, Yarosh’s ultra-nationalist followers fought fierce battles with police on the streets of Kiev, earning them a reputation as shadowy extremists kept at arm’s length by other opponents of the Moscow-backed leader.

Feb 24, 2014

Russia tops medals table as Games end amid doping scandals

SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) – The Winter Olympics ended on Sunday with host nation Russia on top of the medals table and Canada winning the men’s ice hockey final, but news that two more athletes tested positive for banned substances dimmed the golden glow.

Canada claimed the last, most coveted title of the Games by sweeping aside Sweden 3-0 to retain their men’s ice hockey crown, but two more victories for Russia gave them an unassailable lead with 13 golds to Norway’s 11.

Feb 23, 2014

Olympics-Russia lightens up with softer image at closing ceremony

SOCHI, Russia, Feb 23 (Reuters) – An emotional closing ceremony at Russia’s first Winter Olympics painted the hosts in soft colours, in contrast to the muscular, assertive spectacle that kicked off the Games, and there was even room for a joke at the home nation’s expense.

The show at the Fisht Stadium on the Black Sea coast opened with a volley of fireworks and a boat suspended high in the air above waves formed by lines of hundreds of dancers in shimmering costumes.

Feb 23, 2014

Closing ceremony paints hosts Russia in softer colors

SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) – Sunday’s closing ceremony at Russia’s first Winter Olympics will aim to paint the host nation in softer colors than the muscular spectacle that kicked off the Games, organizers said.

The show at the gleaming Fisht Stadium on the Black Sea coast will take viewers on a poetic journey through Russia’s rich heritage of visual arts, music, literature and dance.

Feb 23, 2014

Olympics-Closing ceremony paints hosts Russia in softer colours

SOCHI, Russia, Feb 23 (Reuters) – Sunday’s closing ceremony at Russia’s first Winter Olympics will aim to paint the host nation in softer colours than the muscular spectacle that kicked off the Games, organisers said.

The show at the gleaming Fisht Stadium on the Black Sea coast will take viewers on a poetic journey through Russia’s rich heritage of visual arts, music, literature and dance.

Feb 23, 2014

Olympics-Russia tops Sochi medals table, doping cases dim golden glow

SOCHI, Russia, Feb 23 (Reuters) – The Winter Olympics will end on Sunday with Russia on top of the medals table in a surprise sporting success for the host nation, but news that a fifth Sochi athlete tested positive for a banned substance dimmed the golden glow.

With two of 98 medals yet to be decided ahead of the evening closing ceremony on the Black Sea coast, Russia has 12 gold medals after a podium sweep in the 50km mass start cross-country race brought loud cheers in the mountains.

Feb 23, 2014

Russia tops Sochi medals table, doping cases dim golden glow

SOCHI, Reuters (Reuters) – The Winter Olympics will end on Sunday with Russia on top of the medals table in a surprise sporting success for the host nation, but news that a fifth Sochi athlete tested positive for a banned substance dimmed the golden glow.

With two of 98 medals yet to be decided ahead of the evening closing ceremony on the Black Sea coast, Russia has 12 gold medals after a podium sweep in the 50km mass start cross-country race brought loud cheers in the mountains.

    • About Mike

      "I cover arts and entertainment across Europe, Middle East and Africa, ranging from film festivals like Cannes and awards shows like the BRITs and from books and theatre to art, opera and industry stories. My previous postings include Moscow, senior correspondent in Central Asia and deputy bureau chief in Pakistan and Afghanistan. I also covered the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq."
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