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Crisis News

West vows 'strong' response if major Ukraine truce violation

Kiev - Western leaders have called for a "strong reaction" from the international community to any major violation of a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine as they seek to further pressure Russia over the conflict.

Western powers vow 'strong' response if major Ukraine truce violation

Kiev - Western leaders on Tuesday called for a "strong reaction" from the international community to any major violation of a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine as they sought to further pressure Russia over the conflict.

Bereaved to view MH17 wreckage at Dutch base

Rijen - The first of around 500 relatives of those killed in the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine visited the wreckage at a Dutch airbase on Tuesday, investigators said.

Jailed Ukrainian pilot 'may be transferred to hospital'

Moscow - A Ukrainian airforce pilot who has been on hunger strike in a Russian jail for 81 days might be transferred to a civilian hospital if her health deteriorates, the prison service said Tuesday.

OSCE to monitor truce violation areas: Kiev

Kiev - The leaders of Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany have agreed to send observers to flashpoint sites in eastern Ukraine as sporadic deadly attacks continue to rattle a shaky truce, Kiev said Tuesday.

Arms removal or relocation? Ukraine ceasefire observers in the dark

Donetsk - Government forces in Ukraine and the pro-Russian separatists they have been battling for 10 months insist they are withdrawing heavy weapons from the frontline, as called for by a February ceasefire deal.

More than 6,000 killed in 'merciless devastation' in Ukraine

Geneva - The UN reported Monday over 6,000 people have perished in the "merciless devastation of civilian lives and infrastructure" in Ukraine, and warned the targeting of civilian areas could be a "crime against humanity.

Kerry meets Lavrov as Ukraine death toll soars past 6,000

Geneva - US Secretary of State John Kerry held tense talks with his Russian counterpart in Geneva Monday to end fighting in Ukraine, where the UN says more than 6,000 have died in less than a year.

Kerry to meet Russia's Lavrov for talks on Ukraine crisis

Kiev - US Secretary of State John Kerry will meet his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Geneva for talks on the Ukraine crisis Monday, less than a week after accusing Moscow of lying to his face over the conflict.

Rebel deminers comb Ukraine battleground town

Debaltsevo - A week since pro-Russian rebels forced Ukrainian soldiers from the key transport hub of Debaltseve, the sound of explosions still reverberates around the eastern town.

Two killed as clashes threaten fragile Ukraine truce

Kiev - Two people have been killed by shelling in east Ukraine as isolated clashes rattled a shaky truce with pro-Russian rebels and observers warned the country was at a "crossroads".

Ukraine conflict at 'crossroads' as troop deaths shake truce

Kiev - International monitors said the conflict in Ukraine was at a "crossroads" as further losses among government forces rattled a two-week-old truce just as it seemed to be gaining traction.

Around Ukraine's Mariupol displaced wary despite lull

Mariupol - Pensioner Alla Troyan shares her room with ten other displaced people in a dilapidated social centre in Ukraine's port city Mariupol, after fighting in their nearby village forced them to flee.

Ukrainian POWs comb ruins of Donetsk airport for dead comrades

Donetsk - Rebel fighters with Kalashnikovs watched over a dust-covered group of captured Ukrainian soldiers as they searched with their hands through the apocalyptic jumble of smashed concrete and twisted metal that is Donetsk airport.

Eight Spanish combatants arrested after returning from Ukraine

Madrid - Police arrested eight Spanish men who returned from fighting alongside pro-Russian forces in eastern Ukraine, in what they said was the first operation of its kind in Europe.

Ukrainian pilot could 'die within days' in Russian jail

Moscow - A Ukrainian airforce pilot, who has been on hunger strike in a Russian prison for 77 days, "could die within days," a member of the Kremlin's human rights council said Friday.

UN to discuss Ukraine on anniversary of Crimea annexation

Artemivsk - The UN Security Council on Friday was to hold an emergency session on the fragile truce in Ukraine, a year to the day since Russian troops and pro-Moscow forces began seizing ports and cities on the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea.

UN Security Council to meet on Ukraine Friday

New York - The UN Security Council is to hold an emergency session on Friday on the ceasefire deal in eastern Ukraine that is showing tentative signs of taking hold, diplomats said.

Ukraine pass to enter rebel zones spurs corruption

Donetsk - The frontline slicing across east Ukraine is more than a boundary fought over by the army and pro-Russian forces; it is also a partition many Ukrainian civilians in the separatist-held zone need to cross to live their lives.

Tense Ukraine port city braces for feared rebel offensive

Mariupol - Pensioner Anatoliy gestures at a row of burnt out cars as he worries about what might be in store for his east Ukraine hometown -- the frontline port city of Mariupol."People are afraid and don't want this to be repeated," he tells AFP.

Kindergarten kids with 'AK-47s' cause outrage in Russia

Moscow - Pictures of young Russian children posing with mock AK-47 rifles and other weapons at a kindergarten have provoked a storm of controversy, but some defended them as patriotic education.

Kiev says starting withdrawal of heavy weapons from frontline  

Kiev - Ukraine's military said Thursday it was starting the withdrawal of heavy weapons from the frontline with pro-Russian rebels, a key step in a stuttering peace plan.

Putin 'destabilizing' Ukraine, Kerry says

Washington - US Secretary of State John Kerry accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of destabilizing Ukraine through "land grabs," warning Moscow and the rebels had failed to meet the terms of a tattered ceasefire.

Russian paratroopers in drills on border with Estonia, Latvia

Moscow - Up to 2,000 Russian soldiers took part in drills in the country's west on Wednesday as Moscow conducted an inspection of its paratrooper units in the latest show of strength likely to alarm its neighbours.

Ukraine truce takes hold but US accuses Russia of land grabs

Kiev - A UN-backed ceasefire showed signs of finally taking hold in Ukraine, even as the United States accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of destabilising the country through land grabs.

Estonia shows off NATO ties at celebrations on Russian border

Narva - Estonia marked its independence day Tuesday with a military parade featuring NATO hardware and troops on its eastern border with Russia amid heightened east-west tensions over Ukraine.

Red Cross warns against 'politicising humanitarian aid' for Ukraine

Moscow - The president of the International Committee of the Red Cross spoke out Tuesday against "politicising" the issue of humanitarian assistance for war-torn eastern Ukraine.

Ukraine rebels fill hospital as clashes flare around Mariupol

Novoazovsk - Wounded rebel fighter Islam Alibaterov limps painfully along the corridor of the hospital in the separatist-held town of Novoazovsk in east Ukraine.

Lithuania to reinstate conscription amid Russia fears

Vilnius - Lithuania announced on Tuesday it would return to limited conscription later this year as concern mounts over Russian military exercises near NATO Baltic states.

Putin rules out war with Ukraine as diplomats urge 'total ceasefire'

Paris - Foreign ministers from Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France called Tuesday for a total ceasefire in eastern Ukraine as Russian President Vladimir Putin ruled out the "apocalyptic scenario" of all-out war.
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