MOSCOW, Feb 18 (Reuters) – Vladimir Putin has called
Europe’s bluff over east Ukraine as Russia-backed separatists
seize a strategic town in defiance of a ceasefire brokered by
France and Germany.
The attack on Debaltseve by rebels loyal to the Russian
president amounts to a test of the West’s resolve to stand up to
him – at the risk of an escalation of the conflict.
MOSCOW/KIEV, (Reuters) – The leaders of Germany and France are expected to take peace proposals to Moscow on Friday on the second leg of a dramatic initiative to end a confict in Ukraine that has killed more than 5,000 people and driven Russia-West relations to new lows.
The coordinated trip by Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Francois Hollande to see Russia’s Vladimir Putin followed five hours of late-night talks with Ukrainian leader Petro Poroshenko in snow-bound Kiev.
MOSCOW/KIEV, Feb 3 (Reuters) – By considering giving weapons
to Kiev, the United States could be contemplating a risky
venture which advocates say would help end the conflict in
Ukraine but opponents warn might fan the flames of war.
A senior U.S. administration official said on Monday no
decision had been made on whether to send arms to help Ukrainian
forces fight Russia-backed separatists in eastern 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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.