DONETSK/KIEV, Ukraine (Reuters) – Pro-Russian protesters seized state buildings in three east Ukrainian cities on Sunday, triggering accusations from the pro-European government in Kiev that President Vladimir Putin was orchestrating “separatist disorder”.
The protesters stormed regional government buildings in the industrial hub of Donetsk and security service offices in nearby Luhansk, waving Russian flags and demanding a Crimea-style referendum on joining Russia.
KIEV (Reuters) – Ukraine warned on Saturday it would take Russia to arbitration court if natural gas talks with Moscow failed to roll back price hikes that Kiev called an act of economic aggression.
Russia nearly doubled the price Ukraine pays for its gas this week, forcing Kiev, whose economy is in chaos, to enter into emergency talks with European neighbors to boost cheaper imports from the West.
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia has recalled its top military representative to NATO for consultations, Russian news agencies reported on Thursday, widening the rift between Moscow and the Western alliance over Moscow’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region.
Russia’s action last month has caused the deepest crisis in East-West relations since the Cold War, leading the West to impose sanctions and stirring fears that President Vladimir Putin has territorial designs beyond Crimea, a Black Sea peninsula with its Russian-majority population.
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia said on Thursday it wanted answers from NATO on its activities in eastern Europe after the Western military alliance promised to beef up defenses for its eastern members.
Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region last month has caused the deepest crisis in East-West relations since the Cold War, leading the West to impose sanctions and sparking fear President Vladimir Putin has territorial designs beyond the Black Sea peninsula with its Russian-majority population.
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia accused U.S. bank JP Morgan (JPM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on Tuesday of “illegally” blocking a payment from one of its embassies to an insurance agency “under the pretext of anti-Russian sanctions”.
In a statement on its website, the Russian Foreign Ministry suggested the action, which it called “unacceptable, illegal and absurd”, would have consequences for the U.S. embassy and consulate in Russia.
GROZNY, Russia (Reuters) – Days before Crimea voted in a referendum to join Russia from Ukraine, Adam, a Chechen soldier, was ordered to go to the Black Sea peninsula to defend Russia’s interests.
He and about 200 other soldiers from his special battalion, grouping ethnic Chechens, were mobilized on March 12 and spent two weeks in the Crimean city of Yevpatoria.
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Moscow will respond in kind to U.S. sanctions imposed on Russian officials over the Crimea dispute and is considering other steps if Washington escalates tensions, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Wednesday.
On Monday, the United States and the EU announced sanctions on a handful of officials from Russia and Ukraine accused of involvement in Moscow’s seizure of Ukraine’s Crimea region, most of whose 2 million residents are ethnic Russians.
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin, defying Ukrainian protests and Western sanctions, signed a treaty on Tuesday making Crimea part Russia but said he did not plan to seize any other regions of Ukraine.
In a fiercely patriotic address to a joint session of parliament in the Kremlin, punctuated by standing ovations, cheering and tears, Putin said Crimea’s disputed referendum vote on Sunday, held under Russian military occupation, had shown the overwhelming will of the people to be reunited with Russia.
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian riot police detained hundreds of Kremlin opponents on Monday, moving swiftly to curb protests over the jailing of activists convicted of attacking police at a rally against President Vladimir Putin.
With the turmoil in Ukraine adding to tension between the Kremlin and its opponents, Putin foes including Alexei Navalny and members of protest band Pussy Riot were hauled away twice by police, first outside a courthouse and later near the Kremlin.
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian riot police detained over a hundred protesters on Monday outside a Moscow courthouse where a judge was expected to sentence eight defendants convicted of attacking police at a 2012 demonstration against President Vladimir Putin.
Demonstrators shouted “Maidan” – a reference to the square in Ukraine’s capital at the heart of anti-government protests that have driven President Viktor Yanukovich from power – and called the Russian police “Berkut” after the Ukrainian riot police that battled protesters in Kiev.