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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.

Mar 11, 2014

Wartime ghosts haunt Ukraine as crisis deepens

KIEV, March 11 (Reuters) – Seven decades after the end of
World War Two, the ghosts of that conflict are being evoked in
an ideological as well as geopolitical battle over the future of
Ukraine.

In a country that was occupied by Nazi Germany and suffered
decades of repressive Soviet rule, the words “communist” and
“fascist” can still conjure up horror and terror. Fascism in
particular is not usually a word that is used lightly.

Mar 9, 2014

National hero Shevchenko fails to unite Ukrainians and Russians

KIEV (Reuters) – When President Vladimir Putin visited Ukraine a decade ago, he recited four lines of verse by national poet Taras Shevchenko to show his love of Russia’s fellow Slavs and neighbors.

Two years ago, Putin announced with great fanfare after talks with Ukraine’s president that their two countries would celebrate the 200th anniversary of Shevchenko’s birth together.

Mar 9, 2014

Putin foe Khodorkovsky says Russia is lying about Ukraine

KIEV (Reuters) – Former oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky, addressing thousands of people at the cradle of the uprising against Ukraine’s Moscow-backed leader, accused Russia on Sunday of being complicit in police violence against protesters.

To chants of “Russia, rise up”, Khodorkovsky, who was jailed for a decade under President Vladimir Putin, told the crowd the Kremlin was lying to its own people by portraying the protesters as “neo-fascists” bent on violence.

Mar 8, 2014

Mickey Mouse and armed men: surreal scenes on Kiev protest square

KIEV (Reuters) – Two weeks after Ukraine’s president was overthrown, the cradle of the uprising is a surreal place as children play alongside diehard protesters still dressed in combat gear.

Dozens of people were killed last month defending the barricades and fortified tent camp in Kiev’s Independence Square, some of them shot by snipers in bloody clashes.

Mar 7, 2014

Europe alarmed as pro-Russia leaders squeeze Crimea media

KIEV (Reuters) – When journalists in Crimea complained of a creeping climate of fear under the region’s new pro-Russia rulers, a top European official on media freedoms went to investigate.

She was greeted on the Ukrainian Black Sea peninsula by a hostile crowd holding anti-Western placards outside a building where she met local media chiefs.

Mar 6, 2014

Big power talks on Ukraine crisis make little progress

PARIS/KIEV (Reuters) – High-level diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis in Ukraine made little apparent headway at talks in Paris on Wednesday with Moscow and Washington at odds and Russia’s foreign minister refusing to recognize his Ukrainian counterpart.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said discussions would continue in the coming days in an attempt to stabilize the crisis and he expected to meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov again in Rome on Thursday.

Mar 5, 2014

Russia rebuffs West on Crimea amid Paris talks

PARIS/KIEV, March 5 (Reuters) – Russia rebuffed Western
demands to withdraw forces in Ukraine’s Crimea region to their
bases on Wednesday amid a day of high-stakes diplomacy in Paris
aimed at easing tensions over Ukraine and averting the risk of
war.

The European Union offered Ukraine’s new pro-Western
government 11 billion euros in financial aid in the next couple
of years provided Kiev reaches a deal with the International
Monetary Fund. Germany, the EU’s biggest economy, also promised
bilateral financial help.

    • 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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