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.
DONETSK Ukraine (Reuters) – Pro-Russian separatists marched dozens of Ukrainian prisoners of war through the eastern rebel stronghold of Donetsk on Sunday in a parade meant to counter Independence Day celebrations in Kiev.
Some bandaged, some limping, the men were marched up one of Donetsk’s main streets and past the remains of Ukrainian armoured personnel carriers destroyed in battle and put on display in the city’s main Lenin Square.
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 in their stronghold.
The rival events showed the divide that will need to be bridged if a compromise on Ukraine is to be reached on Tuesday when Russian President Vladimir Putin meets his Ukrainian counterpart for the first time in months.
DONETSK Ukraine (Reuters) – For those living on the front line between pro-Russian separatists and government troops in eastern Ukraine, the difference between life and death is often making it to the bomb shelter before the doors close.
The separatist territory of Petrovka, on the southern edge of the rebel stronghold of Donetsk, is only a few kilometers (miles) away from Ukrainian troop positions. Pro-Moscow rebels walk nearby paths through the leafy area daily to spy on their enemy and attack.
DONETSK Ukraine (Reuters) – Pro-Moscow rebels in the Ukrainian city of Donetsk are taking such heavy losses in fighting with advancing government troops they no longer have time to give their comrades a proper burial.
That task fell instead on Wednesday afternoon to Igor Yegorov and his crew of three grave-diggers, dressed in track suit bottoms and vests, at the Sixth Capital municipal graveyard on the edge of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine.
KIEV/DONETSK Ukraine (Reuters) – Heavy shelling hit residential neighborhoods in Ukraine’s rebel stronghold of Donetsk and government forces fought street battles in other towns on Wednesday as they sought to crush a four-month-old separatist rebellion.
The forces of the Western-backed Kiev government are steadily gaining the upper hand over the separatists in Russian-speaking eastern Ukraine and are tightening the noose around the main rebel bastions of Donetsk and Luhansk.