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Dec 19, 2013

Putin says to pardon jailed tycoon Khodorkovsky

MOSCOW (Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin is to pardon one of his best known opponents, jailed oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, in what may be a gesture to critics of his human rights record before Russia hosts the Winter Olympics.

Putin made the announcement that he would soon free Khodorkovsky, once Russia’s richest man, after a marathon news conference in which he exuded confidence that he has reasserted his authority in the face of street protests. He also confirmed that women from the Pussy Riot group would be also be released.

Dec 19, 2013

Russia’s Putin says Ukraine bailout not aimed against Europe

MOSCOW, Dec 19 (Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin on
Thursday portrayed Russia’s bailout of Ukraine as an act of
brotherly love to stave off economic crisis and said it was not
designed to keep its big neighbour out of Europe’s clutches.

Russia agreed on Tuesday to buy $15 billion worth of
Ukrainian Eurobonds and cut the price Kiev pays for Russian gas,
weeks after Kiev spurned a trade pact with the European Union in
a policy U-turn which touched off anti-government protests.

Dec 17, 2013

Russia agrees $15 billion bailout of Ukraine, fuelling protests

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia agreed a $15 billion bailout for Ukraine and slashed the price of gas exports on Tuesday under a deal that keeps the cash-strapped country in Moscow’s orbit but fuelled street protests in Kiev.

Vladimir Putin’s lifeline to Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich was a triumph for the Russian leader in a geopolitical battle with the Europe Union. But the deal saddles Russia with a heavy financial burden and he failed to lure Ukraine into a customs union with other ex-Soviet republics.

Dec 17, 2013

Russian bailout wins Ukraine economic respite but deepens political rift

MOSCOW, Dec 18 (Reuters) – Ukraine’s President Viktor
Yanukovich has secured a $15 billion bailout from Russia,
offering respite for an economy heading ever closer to default
but also drawing accusations he has sold his country out to its
former Soviet master.

By grasping the lifeline thrown by Russian leader Vladimir
Putin, Yanukovich reignited demands for his resignation by
opponents at home already enraged by his decision to walk away
from a trade and political deal with the European Union.

Dec 16, 2013

Ukraine leader seeks cash at Kremlin, Kiev protest planned

MOSCOW, Dec 17 (Reuters) – Ukraine’s president could secure
loans from Russia on Tuesday when he meets Vladimir Putin at the
Kremlin – money that could help fend off economic crisis as
anti-government protests continue in Kiev.

Demonstrators demanding that Viktor Yanukovich step down
after he spurned a trade and investment deal with the European
Union last month plan a new show of force in Ukraine’s capital
on Tuesday as the president meets his Russian counterpart.

Dec 16, 2013

Russia nears loan deal with Ukraine to keep it in its orbit

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia signaled on Monday it was about to agree a loan deal with Ukraine to help its indebted neighbor stave off economic chaos and keep it in its former Soviet master’s orbit.

In snowbound Kiev, the opposition went ahead with plans for another big rally for Tuesday against what they see as moves by President Viktor Yanukovich to sell out national interests to Russia after he backed away from a landmark deal with the European Union that would have shifted their country westwards.

Dec 16, 2013

Russia eyes loan, gas deal to keep Ukraine in its orbit

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia signaled on Monday it was about to agree a loan and gas deal with Ukraine to help Kiev stave off economic chaos and keep it in its former Soviet master’s orbit.

In Kiev, the opposition went ahead with preparations for another big rally for Tuesday against what they see as moves by President Viktor Yanukovich to sell out national interests to Russia after backing away from a landmark deal with the European Union that would have shifted their country westwards.

Dec 12, 2013

Russia makes new attempt to woo Ukraine, EU waits in wings

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin made a new attempt to woo Ukraine on Thursday after the European Union and United States stepped up efforts to pull Kiev out of its former Soviet master’s orbit.

A day after European and U.S. officials held talks with Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich in Kiev, Putin used a state of the nation address to tout the economic benefits of joining a customs union that he wants Ukraine to be part of.

Dec 11, 2013

Russian state TV waves the flag for Putin in Ukraine

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Ukraine is descending into anarchy and civil war. Economic collapse, even partition looms for a Russian ally enmeshed by a conspiracy involving the United States, the EU, Sweden, Poland, Lithuania. That at least is the view Russians might well get, watching state media coverage of events in Kiev.

Russian state media, the dominant force under Vladimir Putin’s presidency, has broadcast a consistent message of caution to the domestic audience and to millions across Ukraine who understand Russian and can receive Russian television.

Dec 9, 2013

Putin dissolves state news agency, tightens grip on Russia media

MOSCOW, Dec 9 (Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin tightened
his control over Russia’s media on Monday by dissolving the main
state news agency and replacing it with an organisation that is
to promote Moscow’s image abroad.

The move to abolish RIA Novosti and create a news agency to
be known as Rossiya Segodnya is the second in two weeks
strengthening Putin’s hold on the media as he tries to reassert
his authority after protests against his rule.

    • 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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