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May 23, 2014

Russia says to complete troop pullback from Ukraine border ‘within days’

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia will pull back all forces deployed to regions near its border with Ukraine “within a few days”, a deputy defense minister said on Friday, a move that if carried out could ease tensions around Ukraine’s presidential election on Sunday.

Moscow has concentrated tens of thousands of troops across the border from eastern Ukraine where pro-Russian separatists have declared two independent states.

May 22, 2014

Russian court demands U.S. Library of Congress hand over Jewish texts

MOSCOW (Reuters) – A Russian court demanded on Thursday that the U.S. Library of Congress hand back seven precious Jewish texts to Moscow – and, in a tit-for-tat ruling, said it should pay a massive fine for every day it delays.

The so-called Schneerson collection, claimed by both Russia and the New York-based Hasidic Chabad-Lubavitch group, has become a bone of contention in Russia-U.S. ties, at their lowest for decades due to the Ukraine crisis.

May 22, 2014

Russia moves some troops away from Ukraine; NATO says big force remains

MOSCOW/BRUSSELS, May 22 (Reuters) – Russia said on Thursday
it was moving troops and military equipment from border regions
near Ukraine, but NATO said a large “coercive force” remained in

Russia has previously failed to keep promises to move troops
back from the frontier with eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russian
separatists have declared independence.

May 21, 2014

Putin calls Ukraine’s detention of Russian journalists ‘unacceptable’

MOSCOW (Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin called the detention of two Russian journalists in Ukraine unacceptable on Wednesday and suggested it highlighted wider questions about the legitimacy of political power in Ukraine.

The detention of the journalists, working for the pro-Kremlin Internet news outlet LifeNews, has added to tensions between Moscow and Kiev, which accuses Russia of destabilizing Ukraine’s Russian-speaking east ahead of a presidential vote on Sunday.

May 16, 2014

Russian PM criticises official for threats to block Twitter

MOSCOW, May 16 (Reuters) – Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev
criticised an official on Friday for threatening that Moscow
could block online networking site Twitter, in an
apparent attempt to silence rumours that Russia could cut

His comments, posted on his Facebook page, came after the
deputy director of Russia’s communications watchdog agency
Maksim Ksenzov told Izvestia newspaper that Russia’s blocking of
U.S.-based Twitter had become “unavoidable”.

May 16, 2014

Cold-shouldered by West, Putin will hope for some China sympathy

BEIJING/MOSCOW, May 16 (Reuters) – Increasingly isolated by
the West over Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin will
hope for a sympathetic ear on a visit next week to China, which
is also being more assertive in its territorial disputes with
smaller neighbours.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has made a big public show of
underscoring the importance of ties with Russia, and Moscow was
the first capital he visited after assuming the presidency last
year. Xi also attended the Winter Olympics in Sochi at Putin’s

May 9, 2014

Abductions rise in east Ukraine as pro-Russian rebels brook no dissent

SLAVIANSK, Ukraine (Reuters) – Every evening Antonina Sukhonos gazes up at the Slaviansk city administration building in eastern Ukraine and wonders out loud where pro-Russian gunmen are holding her son.

“If I can’t have him back I just want to know why they’ve detained him,” she said, looking up the building’s steel and glass facade from behind dark sunglasses.

Apr 29, 2014
via FaithWorld

‘Rebel priest’ in Ukraine prays for pro-Russian gunmen but denies covert support


(A pro-Russian armed man stands guard at a barricade near the state security service building in Slaviansk, April 28, 2014. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich)

Father Vitaly says he prays every day for the armed men who now wield power in Slaviansk, stronghold of pro-Russian separatists who have seized key buildings in a dozen towns across eastern Ukraine this month.

Apr 29, 2014

‘Rebel priest’ prays for Ukraine gunmen, denies doing more

SLAVIANSK, Ukraine (Reuters) – Father Vitaly says he prays every day for the armed men who now wield power in Slaviansk, stronghold of pro-Russian separatists who have seized key buildings in a dozen towns across eastern Ukraine this month.

“There’s a point at which you just can’t take it anymore and you have to pick yourself up and stand up for yourself,” the bearded, broad-shouldered Orthodox priest said of his hostility to the Ukrainian leadership which has taken power in Kiev.

Apr 28, 2014

US sanctions Putin allies as Ukraine violence goes on

DONETSK/SLAVIANSK, Ukraine, April 28 (Reuters) – The United
States imposed new sanctions on allies of Russian President
Vladimir Putin on Monday, prompting Moscow to denounce “Cold
War” tactics amid more violence in eastern Ukraine.

Banning visas and freezing assets of the likes of Putin’s
friend Igor Sechin, head of oil giant Rosneft, also
drew fire from President Barack Obama’s domestic critics, who
called it a “slap on the wrist”, even as European allies
wrangled over how to follow suit without badly hurting their own

    • 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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