MOSCOW (Reuters) – Former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev has warned Western leaders and Russian President Vladimir Putin against dragging the world into a new version of the Cold War he helped to end a quarter of a century ago.
Gorbachev, recently in hospital, voiced his disquiet in a newspaper interview at the current standoff over Ukraine, which has prompted the United States and European Union to impose sanctions on Russia, and Moscow to retaliate by banning most Western food imports.
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Chechnya’s Kremlin-backed leader promised a tough response on Monday to a suicide bombing that killed five policemen, shattering a period of relative calm in the turbulent North Caucasus region.
Sunday’s attack, in which 12 police were also wounded, hit the entrance to a concert hall in the Chechen capital, Grozny, where festivities had been planned to celebrate a local holiday, which was also the birthday of Chechen head Ramzan Kadyrov.
MOSCOW (Reuters) – A suicide bomber killed at least five police officers and wounded 12 others on Sunday during festivities for a local holiday in Grozny, the capital of Russia’s troubled North Caucasus region of Chechnya, Russian news agencies reported.
The site of two separatist wars and a festering Islamic insurgency, Chechnya has seen a period of relative calm under the strong-arm rule of Moscow-backed leader Ramzan Kadyrov, and suicide bombings have been a rare occurrence in recent years.
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Six months after Crimea voted to become part of Russia, elation could give way to discontent over problems such as power and water shortages, the government official responsible for the region said.
“Euphoria cannot be eternal,” Crimean Affairs Minister Oleg Savelyev said in an interview at the Reuters Russia Investment Summit.
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia threatened to send more troops to its newly-annexed territory of Crimea on Tuesday, after NATO began exercises in western Ukraine while Kiev’s forces are fighting pro-Russian separatists in the east.
Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said the escalation of tensions in Ukraine and the presence of foreign military near Russia’s borders made the deployment of troops a top priority in Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in March.
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Pro-Ukrainian activists and Tatar ethnic minorities in Crimea have found their lives under increased threat since the Ukrainian territory was annexed by Russia in March, a top European human rights diplomat said on Friday.
Following the first international rights mission to Crimea since the annexation of the Black Sea peninsula, Nils Muiznieks, commissioner for human rights at the Council of Europe, described an atmosphere of fear for ethnic Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars, a Muslim ethnic minority.
MOSCOW 2014 (Reuters) – Late last month Yelena Tumanova was handed the body of her son in a coffin at her home in Russia’s Western Volga region. Anton Tumanov was 20 and a soldier serving in the Russian army in the North Caucasus region of Chechnya.
The documents Yelena Tumanova was given with the body raised more questions than they answered – questions about how her son died and about the Russian government’s denials that its troops are in Ukraine. The records do not show Anton Tumanov’s place of death, said human rights activists who spoke to his mother after she got in touch with them.
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia said on Thursday it was dissatisfied with talks held with U.S. officials to address concerns that Moscow had violated a Cold War-era arms control agreement by testing a ground-launched cruise missile.
Relations between the two countries are at their lowest since the Cold War because of Russia’s role in the crisis in Ukraine, and both Moscow and Washington question the other’s commitment to the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty.
MOSCOW (Reuters) – More than 100 Russian soldiers were killed in eastern Ukraine in a single battle this month while helping pro-Russian separatists fight Ukrainian troops, two members of the Russian presidential human rights council said on Thursday, citing accounts from eyewitnesses and relatives of the dead.
Ella Polyakova and Sergei Krivenko, both members of the council – an advisory body with no legal powers and an uneasy relationship with the Kremlin – said around 300 people were wounded in the same incident on Aug. 13 near the town of Snizhnye, when a column of trucks they were driving, full of ammunition, was hit by a sustained volley of Grad missiles.
KIEV/DONETSK Ukraine (Reuters) – Ukraine marked its independence day on Sunday with a military march-past in Kiev intended to send a message of defiance to Russia, but pro-Moscow rebels countered by parading captured Ukrainian troops through the streets of their main stronghold.
The rival events highlighted the divide that will have to be bridged if a compromise on Ukraine is to be reached on Tuesday when Russian President Vladimir Putin meets his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko for the first time in months.