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Apr 28, 2014

Ukraine rebels free Swedish hostage; Obama seeks unity against Russia

KUALA LUMPUR/SLAVIANSK, Ukraine (Reuters) – Pro-Russian rebels paraded European monitors they are holding in eastern Ukraine on Sunday, freeing one but saying they had no plans to release another seven as the United States and Europe prepared new sanctions against Moscow.

U.S. President Barack Obama called for the United States and Europe to join forces to impose stronger measures to restrain Moscow. The White House said it will add names on Monday of people close to President Vladimir Putin and firms they control to a list of Russians hit by sanctions over Ukraine, and also impose new restrictions on high tech exports.

Apr 27, 2014

‘Open arms and smile’ fail to protect German colonel in Ukraine

MOSCOW/SLAVIANSK, Ukraine (Reuters) – Days before he was taken prisoner, the German colonel who leads the team of European observers being held by separatist gunmen in eastern Ukraine described his technique for working in dangerous hotspots.

“In a moment when the situation gets tense I back off,” Colonel Axel Schneider told a Reuters reporter in the Ukrainian city of Donetsk on Tuesday, when asked about the challenges of operating near the flashpoint city of Slaviansk.

Apr 27, 2014

Observers held in Ukraine say in good health, want to go home

SLAVIANSK, Ukraine (Reuters) – The leader of the international observers detained by pro-Russian separatists in the east Ukrainian city of Slaviansk said on Sunday all the group were in good health, but they were anxious to be allowed to go home soon.

Appearing in public for the first time since they were held three days ago, seven officers from the observer team and their translator were brought into a room of waiting journalists in the separatist-held city administration building.

Apr 27, 2014

Obama urges united riposte to Russia for “destabilising” Ukraine

KUALA LUMPUR/SLAVIANSK, Ukraine, April 27 (Reuters) – U.S.
President Barack Obama on Sunday said the United States and
Europe must join forces to impose sanctions on Russia to stop it
destabilising Ukraine, where armed pro-Russian separatists were
for a third day holding eight international observers prisoner.

Washington and Brussels are expected, possibly as early as
Monday, to name new people and firms close to Russian President
Vladimir Putin who will be hit by punitive measures, but there
is no consensus yet on wider economic sanctions.

Apr 26, 2014

Ukraine blames Moscow for “human shield” detentions in east

SLAVIANSK, Ukraine, April 26 (Reuters) – Pro-Russian
separatists in eastern Ukraine offered on Saturday to release
eight captive international observers in a prisoner exchange, as
Western governments prepared new sanctions against Moscow.

The pro-Western government in Kiev blamed Russia for what it
called the kidnapping on Friday of the monitors from the
Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

Apr 26, 2014

Ukraine rebels holding observers say prisoner swap possible

SLAVIANSK, Ukraine (Reuters) – Separatists in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slaviansk are ready to exchange a group of international observers they are holding for fellow rebels who are in the custody of the Ukrainian authorities, their leader said on Saturday.

Asked about a prisoner exchange, Vyacheslav Ponomaryov, de facto mayor of Slaviansk, told reporters: “The Kiev junta has our fellows and comrades therefore, if there is a possibility, we are ready for an exchange.”

Apr 26, 2014

G7 agrees new sanctions on Russia as observers held in Ukraine

SLAVIANSK, Ukraine, April 26 (Reuters) – Leaders of the
Group of Seven major economies agreed to impose more sanctions
on Russia over the crisis in Ukraine, where armed pro-Moscow
separatists have detained a group of international observers
they accuse of being NATO spies.

The pro-Western Kiev government said a Russian special
forces operative was behind what it called a kidnapping in the
eastern city of Slaviansk that is under the separatists’
control, and said the detainees were being used as a “human

Apr 26, 2014

Group of Seven agrees swift sanctions against Kremlin over Ukraine

SLAVIANSK, Ukraine/SEOUL, April 26 (Reuters) – Leaders of
the Group of Seven major economies agreed to impose extra
sanctions on Russia over its intervention in Ukraine, where
armed pro-Moscow separatists detained a group of international
observers and accused them of being NATO spies.

The United States said its part of the new punitive
measures, which U.S. officials said would target “cronies” of
Russian President Vladimir Putin, could be unveiled as early as
Monday unless Russia moved fast to defuse the Ukraine crisis.

Apr 26, 2014

Swift, new sanctions to be imposed on Russia, mediators held in Ukraine

SLAVIANSK Ukraine/SEOUL (Reuters) – The leaders of the Group of Seven major economies agreed on Saturday to swiftly impose further sanctions on Russia over the Ukraine crisis, and the United States could unveil its new punitive measures as early as Monday, officials said.

“We believe that these sanctions will have a significant impact,” U.S. Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communication Ben Rhodes said.

Apr 25, 2014

Mediators held in Ukraine as U.S. readies new Russia sanctions

SLAVIANSK, Ukraine/MOSCOW (Reuters) – The United States said on Friday it was prepared to impose further sanctions on Russia over its actions in Ukraine, where armed pro-Moscow separatists seized a bus carrying international mediators, escalating the two-month-old crisis.

The separatist self-declared mayor of Slaviansk told Reuters the mediators were being held because they were believed to have a spy amongst them from the pro-Western government in Kiev.

    • About Thomas

      "Thomas Grove covers politics and general news in Moscow. He worked in Istanbul from 2006-2010, covering political, financial and energy news."
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