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Apr 13, 2014

Crimea won, Putin tries not to lose Ukraine

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Vladimir Putin looks likely to go down in history as the Russian leader who won back Crimea, but he is fighting to avoid also being remembered as the man who let Ukraine escape from Moscow’s sphere of influence.

The next six weeks will be decisive in that battle as Ukraine prepares to elect a president on May 25, agree a new constitution and prevent pro-Russian separatists in the east breaking away.

Apr 7, 2014

Putin says West may use NGOs to stir unrest in Russia

MOSCOW (Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin told his security chiefs on Monday to ensure Russia does not follow what he said was Ukraine’s example by letting the West use local civil rights groups to foment unrest.

In a speech to the Federal Security Service (FSB), the KGB’s main successor, the former spy called for more vigilance and better counter-intelligence to fight threats ranging from Islamist militants to computer hackers.

Apr 2, 2014

Russia says NATO reverts to Cold War-era mindset

MOSCOW, April 2 (Reuters) – Russia accused NATO on Wednesday
of reverting to the “verbal jousting” of the Cold War by
suspending cooperation with Moscow over its annexation of
Crimea.

NATO foreign ministers agreed on Tuesday to suspend all
practical cooperation with Russia, draft measures to strengthen
defences and reassure nervous eastern European countries in the
worst East-West crisis since the Cold War ended in 1991.

Mar 21, 2014

Putin’s lakeside ‘notables’ targeted in sanctions

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Four years before he became Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin built himself a lakeside house in woodland outside St Petersburg.

Soon after he finished it in 1996, Putin was relaxing one day in the “banya” (sauna) when the building caught fire. He rushed upstairs to retrieve some money but realized the building was about to burn down with him in it.

Mar 21, 2014

Insight – Putin looks to Asia as West threatens to isolate Russia

MOSCOW (Reuters) – When President Vladimir Putin signed a treaty this week annexing Crimea to great fanfare in the Kremlin and anger in the West, a trusted lieutenant was making his way to Asia to shore up ties with Russia’s eastern allies.

Forcing home the symbolism of his trip, Igor Sechin gathered media in Tokyo the next day to warn Western governments that more sanctions over Moscow’s seizure of the Black Sea peninsula from Ukraine would be counter-productive.

Mar 21, 2014

Putin looks to Asia as West threatens to isolate Russia

MOSCOW, March 21 (Reuters) – When President Vladimir Putin
signed a treaty this week annexing Crimea to great fanfare in
the Kremlin and anger in the West, a trusted lieutenant was
making his way to Asia to shore up ties with Russia’s eastern
allies.

Forcing home the symbolism of his trip, Igor Sechin gathered
media in Tokyo the next day to warn Western governments that
more sanctions over Moscow’s seizure of the Black Sea peninsula
from Ukraine would be counter-productive.

Mar 18, 2014

To cheers and tears, defiant Putin sets out conservative agenda

MOSCOW (Reuters) – To thunderous applause, cheers and even tears, Vladimir Putin delivered a fiercely patriotic speech on Tuesday that laid claim to Crimea and set out a vision of a Greater Russia that could define his third term as president.

In a 47-minute address to his loyal political and business elite that was interrupted by clapping at least 30 times, Putin described a deeply conservative world view in which Russia hankered after land lost when the Soviet Union collapsed.

Mar 18, 2014

Putin portrays Crimea as part of Russia, blasts West

MOSCOW (Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin delivered a fiercely patriotic speech on Tuesday describing Crimea as an inseparable part of Russia and accusing the West of reverting to Cold War containment by trying to stop the Ukrainian region joining Russia.

To thunderous applause, and some tears among women in the audience, Putin defended Russia’s actions in the crisis over the Black Sea peninsula which has pushed relations with the West to a post-Cold War low.

Mar 14, 2014

Kremlin website hit by ‘powerful’ cyber attack

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Victories are hard to come by for Vladimir Putin’s opponents, activists are jailed, protests draw dwindling crowds, but on Friday they celebrated a minor triumph by briefly knocking out the Kremlin website.

To red faces in the Kremlin and government, the central bank’s site was also brought down by a cyber attack and the Foreign Ministry suffered similar problems.

Mar 13, 2014

Russia holds war games near Ukraine; Merkel warns of catastrophe

BERLIN/MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia launched new military exercises near its border with Ukraine on Thursday, showing no sign of backing down in its plans to annex its neighbor’s Crimea region despite a stronger than expected drive for sanctions from the EU and United States.

In an unusually robust and emotionally worded speech, German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned of “catastrophe” unless Russia changes course.

    • 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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