Richard's Feed
Feb 20, 2015

Options narrow for Ukraine’s Poroshenko after Debaltseve defeat

KIEV (Reuters) – The loss of the key town of Debaltseve to Russian-backed separatists, the latest in a string of big battlefield defeats for Ukraine, narrows the options for President Poroshenko in his dealings both with Moscow and with the West.

No sooner did the strategic railway junction fall to the rebels on Wednesday, with thousands of Ukrainian soldiers withdrawing under fire, than separatists re-opened another old front, attacking government positions near Mariupol, a strategic coastal city in the south-east.

Feb 18, 2015

A year after revolution, Ukraine struggles with old hang-ups

KIEV, Feb 18 (Reuters) – The former power company executive
yanked up his trouser leg to show the electronic bracelet round
his ankle that would alert police if he tried to make a run for
it from Kiev.

“And all this when I am not guilty of anything and there has
been no crime,” said Volodymyr Zinevich.

Feb 13, 2015

Fighting rages in run-up to Ukraine ceasefire

KIEV (Reuters) – Ukraine and Russian-backed rebels fought fiercely for control of a strategic railway junction on Friday despite a new peace deal brokered by Germany and France.

A ceasefire is due to come into effect from Sunday under the agreement, which also envisages a withdrawal of the heavy weaponry responsible for many of the more than 5,000 casualties in the conflict that broke out almost a year ago.

Feb 6, 2015

German, French leaders head for Moscow to press for Ukraine peace

MOSCOW/KIEV, (Reuters) – The leaders of Germany and France are expected to take peace proposals to Moscow on Friday on the second leg of a dramatic initiative to end a confict in Ukraine that has killed more than 5,000 people and driven Russia-West relations to new lows.

The coordinated trip by Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Francois Hollande to see Russia’s Vladimir Putin followed five hours of late-night talks with Ukrainian leader Petro Poroshenko in snow-bound Kiev.

Feb 5, 2015

German, French leaders take Ukraine peace plan to Moscow

KIEV (Reuters) – The leaders of Germany and France announced a new peace plan for Ukraine on Thursday, flying to Kiev with a new proposal they would then take on to Moscow.

The importance of reaching a deal was demonstrated by a dramatic collapse in Ukraine’s hryvnia currency, which lost nearly a third of its value after the central bank halted daily auctions at which it sold hard currency to banks.

Feb 3, 2015

Sending arms to Kiev would be big gamble for U.S.

MOSCOW/KIEV, Feb 3 (Reuters) – By considering giving weapons
to Kiev, the United States could be contemplating a risky
venture which advocates say would help end the conflict in
Ukraine but opponents warn might fan the flames of war.

A senior U.S. administration official said on Monday no
decision had been made on whether to send arms to help Ukrainian
forces fight Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Feb 1, 2015

Ukraine peace talks collapse, Kiev and separatists trade blame

MINSK/KIEV (Reuters) – Peace talks on Ukraine collapsed on Saturday after just over four hours with no tangible progress towards a new ceasefire but with Ukraine’s representative and separatist envoys angrily accusing each other of sabotaging the meeting.

Ukraine’s representative, former president Leonid Kuchma, left the talks in Minsk, Belarus, telling Interfax news agency that separatist officials had undermined the meeting by making ultimatums and refusing “to discuss a plan of measures for a quick ceasefire and a pull-back of heavy weapons”.

Jan 31, 2015

Ukraine, rebels gather for peace talks as fighting rages in east

MINSK/KIEV (Reuters) – A new round of peace talks were about to start on the Ukraine crisis on Saturday, even as fighting between Kiev government forces and pro-Russian separatists raged in the east, claiming civilian and military lives.

A Reuters reporter in the Belarussian capital saw the main participants in the so-called ‘contact group’ — including Ukrainian former president Leonid Kuchma, a Russian diplomat and rebel officials — arrive at Minsk airport and then drive off towards the city.

Jan 21, 2015

Ukraine says its forces attacked by Russian troops

KIEV (Reuters) – Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko was cutting short a foreign trip on Wednesday after Kiev accused Russian regular forces of attacking its troops in the country’s east.

The accusation against Moscow on Tuesday was one of the boldest assertions yet by Ukraine of direct Russian military involvement since the conflict between pro-Russian separatists and government forces began more than nine months ago.

Jan 20, 2015

Ukraine says its forces come under attack from Russian troops

KIEV (Reuters) – Ukrainian army units came under attack from Russian regular forces in eastern Ukraine on Tuesday and heavy fighting was taking place, a Ukrainian military spokesman said.

The announcement at a specially called news briefing was one of the boldest assertions yet by Ukraine of direct Russian military involvement in the nine-month conflict between pro-Russian separatists and government forces.