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Jan 28, 2015

Putin eyes benefits as rebels gain in Ukraine

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Boxed into a corner by a financial crisis and the West’s refusal to drop sanctions over the conflict in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin has come out fighting.

After a relative lull in the conflict in east Ukraine since a ceasefire deal was reached last September, separatists have launched a new offensive. Kiev says the rebels are supported by 9,000 Russian soldiers.

Jan 23, 2015

Putin blames Ukraine’s “criminal orders” for new fighting

MOSCOW, Jan 23 (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin
blamed “criminal orders” by Ukrainian leaders on Friday for a
surge in fighting in east Ukraine, and Russian-backed
separatists struck a bellicose tone in ruling out seeking more
peace talks.

Putin’s remarks, and the comments by the separatists’ main
leader, signalled a hardening of positions in a conflict which
the U.N. human rights office said had killed more than 5,000
people, including 262 in the last nine days.

Jan 21, 2015

Putin not flinching on Ukraine despite economic crisis

MOSCOW, Jan 21 (Reuters) – A surge in violence in east
Ukraine is undermining international hopes that Russia’s
financial crisis and Western sanctions will force President
Vladimir Putin to change policy on the conflict.

There is a growing sense of foreboding as fighting between
Ukrainian government forces and separatists intensifies,
complicating efforts to arrange summit talks involving Ukraine,
Russia, France and Germany.

Jan 15, 2015

Police stand by for now as Kremlin critic defies house arrest

MOSCOW, Jan 15 (Reuters) – Ten days after cutting off his
monitoring tag and declaring he would not stay under house
arrest, Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny says Russian police are
standing by while he walks out of his door.

Although the house arrest order has not been lifted since an
embezzlement case against him ended in a suspended sentence on
Dec. 30, no one has stopped him from walking out of his Moscow
apartment or giving a radio interview.

Jan 14, 2015

U.S. section of space station evacuated to Russian side after alarm sounds

MOSCOW (Reuters) – The crew of the International Space Station (ISS) safely evacuated to the Russian segment on Wednesday after systems detected a possible ammonia leak in the U.S. side, but NASA said it might have been a false alarm.

“It’s becoming a stronger case that this is a false indication, which is great news,” astronaut Jim Kelly from Mission Control in Houston radioed the space station crew shortly before 8:30 a.m. EST.

Jan 13, 2015

Russia to step up combat capabilities in Crimea

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s top general said on Tuesday he would beef up combat capabilities this year in Crimea, the Arctic and the country’s westernmost Kaliningrad region that borders two NATO states.

The remarks by General Valery Gerasimov, chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces, are likely to deepen concern in the West over what it sees as Russia increasingly flexing its muscles since the start of the crisis in Ukraine.

Dec 30, 2014

After 15 years in power, Putin risks running out of luck

MOSCOW (Reuters) – When Vladimir Putin was handed power unexpectedly by an ailing Boris Yeltsin on the last day of the last century, his first move was to go on television to guarantee Russia the freedoms needed for a “civilized society”.

Fifteen years later, his critics accuse the former KGB spy of sacrificing emerging political and economic freedoms to the idea of Soviet-style glory, bringing the country close to economic collapse and international isolation over Ukraine.

Dec 18, 2014

Putin says Russia economy will be cured but offers no remedy

MOSCOW (Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday Russia’s economy would inevitably rebound after the rouble’s dramatic slide this year but offered no remedy to a deepening financial crisis.

Under pressure to show he has a plan to fix the economy, Putin told an end-of-year news conference the actions of the central bank and government had been “adequate” in a crisis he blamed on external factors.

Dec 18, 2014

Putin reassures Russians rouble will rise again

MOSCOW (Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday Russia’s economy would rebound after the ruble’s collapse against the dollar but warned that it could take two years for the country to emerge from crisis.

Under pressure to show he has a plan to pull Russia out of crisis at his end-of-year news conference, Putin supported the actions of the central bank and government in a crisis he blamed on external factors but said further measures would be required.

Dec 18, 2014

Russian rouble firms before Putin news conference, Sistema leads shares

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s ruble lost more ground against the dollar on Thursday before President Vladimir Putin’s end-of-year news conference, expected to be dominated by what a government minister called a “perfect storm” hitting the economy.

The ruble was more than 2 percent weaker on the day, despite central bank action to prop up the currency and around 45 percent down against the dollar this year, hit by Western sanctions over the Ukraine crisis and low oil prices.

    • About Timothy

      "Timothy Heritage is Brussels Bureau Chief and European Affairs Editor, responsible for coverage of the European Union. He has previously been based in Moscow, Jerusalem, Paris, London, Warsaw and Belgrade, covering events ranging from the fall of Communism and conflict in the Balkans and Middle East to the euro zone debt crisis."
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