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Crisis News

Ukraine rebels withdraw from key frontline village

- Pro-Russian fighters have withdrawn from a strategic frontline village, Ukraine's military reported on Friday, although some troops doubted whether the surprise retreat and lull in fighting would last.

Russia says Kiev's refusal to negotiate with rebels 'alarming'

Moscow - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday said Ukraine's perceived failure to agree with rebels on implementing a peace deal was "alarming" and urged the West to pressure Kiev.

Ukraine rebels announce disputed elections in October

Kiev - A top pro-Russian rebel announced plans Thursday to hold local elections in October that would cement the separatists' semi-autonomous status within a united Ukraine.

Russia fumes at expulsion of TV reporter from Ukraine

Kiev - A new public relations war raged Thursday between Moscow and Kiev after Ukraine deported a reporter with Russia's Channel One television for allegedly running "destructive" stories about the crisis-torn ex-Soviet state.

Ukraine leader lays out vision of new war-time constitution

Kiev - Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Wednesday proposed constitutional changes giving sweeping powers to the regions but critically failing to address demands of pro-Russian militants in the separatist east.

Hounded and out of work, gay Ukrainians flee rebel east

Kiev - Oleksandr had already lost his job for being gay in the rebel Ukrainian bastion of Donetsk when he was approached by two Russian speakers with rifles dangling on their hips."So what are you, a fag?

MH17 tribunal idea is 'counterproductive': Russian official

Moscow - A senior Russian official on Friday rejected calls for the establishment of a UN tribunal to try those responsible for the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine last year.

Ukraine, creditors exchange blows ahead of debt talks

Kiev - A vicious fight broke out in the open Friday between Ukraine's cash-strapped government and its foreign creditors over billions of dollars in debt that are up for negotiation next week.

Lone Russian activists battle to prove Kremlin troops in Ukraine

Moscow - Ruslan Leviyev clicks through the evidence on the computer in his Moscow flat that he says helps prove Russian President Vladimir Putin is lying when he denies his troops are fighting in Ukraine.

NATO warns of risk of more heavy fighting in Ukraine

Brussels - NATO head Jens Stoltenberg warned Thursday there was still a risk of heavy fighting in Ukraine and urged Russia to halt its support for pro-Moscow rebels.

Internal border closes on Ukrainians splintered by war

- Irina grips a bag filled to bursting with fruit in each hand and begins the arduous trek across the shell-splattered no man's land splitting pro-Russian militias from Ukrainian troops.

Netherlands, Malaysia push for UN tribunal for MH17 culprits

New York - The Netherlands, Malaysia and three other countries want a UN tribunal to be set up to try those responsible for the downing of the Malaysia Airlines flight over Ukraine last year, a senior diplomat said Wednesday.

'Nearly half' of MH17's wreckage still in Ukraine

Kiev - A top pro-Russian rebel said Wednesday that nearly half the wreckage of the Malaysia Airline jet shot down over Ukraine last year remain strewn across fields controlled by the separatists.

Putin extends Western food ban for one year

Moscow - Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday extended a ban against most Western food imports for a year, saying the longer-than-expected measure would ensure the country's security.

NATO does not want 'new arms race' with Russia

Brussels - NATO head Jens Stoltenberg said Wednesday the alliance does not want to get dragged into an arms race with Russia but it had to boost its defences to counter Moscow's "aggressive actions" in Ukraine.

Ukraine rebels train child soldiers in the making

- He is only 14 but already knows how to assemble a Kalashnikov rifle. Denis is a child soldier in the making -- eager to join the pro-Russian militants fighting Ukrainian troops.

Russian consumer group under fire over 'occupied' Crimea travel advice

Moscow - A Russian consumer rights group that advised caution to tourists visiting Crimea has provoked a major outcry, with Vladimir Putin accusing it of serving foreign interests and authorities blocking its website.

Some Ukraine refugees in Russia yearn to return, others settle

Russia - Marina Balatskaya watched as her three children played in the Russian holiday camp that has become their home since they fled the fighting in east Ukraine.

Putin 'saved my life': Yanukovych

Moscow - Former Ukraine president Viktor Yanukovych has thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin for "saving my life" during the bloody demonstrations that led to his ouster.

Russia, West trade barbs ahead of Ukraine talks in Paris

France - The leaders of Russia, France and Germany clashed over the Ukraine crisis Monday, as the EU extended sanctions on Moscow on the eve of key diplomatic talks in Paris.

Merkel, Hollande see 'insufficient' Ukraine progress after Putin call

Donetsk - French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel lamented the "insufficient" progress in resolving the Ukraine crisis after a telephone conversation Monday with Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to a source close to the ...

Moscow 'powerless to stop' Russians from fighting in Ukraine

Moscow - The secretary of Russia's security council said Monday it is impossible to stop Russians from going to fight in Ukraine because they are guided by "emotions.

EU prolongs Russian economic sanctions for six months

Luxembourg - EU foreign ministers formally agreed Monday to prolong to January 2016 damaging economic sanctions against Russia to ensure it fully implements Ukraine peace accords, officials said.

Three killed as clashes grip Ukraine ahead of talks

Kiev - Ukraine on Sunday reported the deaths of two soldiers while pro-Russian rebels accused Kiev's forces of killing a civilian in clashes preceding crunch talks aimed at ending the 15-month war.

Russia slams EU sanctions renewal as pointless 'blackmail'

Moscow - Russia on Saturday slammed the EU's extension of sanctions over its annexation of Crimea as "blackmail" and vowed it would not be pressured into returning the peninsula to Ukraine."Crimea and Sevastopol are an integral part of the Russian Federation.

EU to extend Russia sanctions to January 2016

Brussels - EU member states agreed Wednesday to extend damaging economic sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine crisis by another six months to the end of January 2016, officials said.

Ukraine parliament fires powerful security chief

Kiev - Ukraine's parliament Thursday fired the powerful head of the SBU state security service after he fell foul of President Petro Poroshenko and became embroiled in a conflict with the nation's chief prosecutor.

Ukraine creditors reject 'haircut' despite default threat

Kiev - Ukraine's biggest private creditors mounted a firm defence Wednesday of their refusal to accept a debt write-off that could keep the impoverished but strategic ex-Soviet nation from slipping into default.

Ukraine accuses own soldiers of killing pro-rebel civilians

Kiev - Prosecutors in war-torn east Ukraine on Wednesday charged two government soldiers with the murder of an elderly woman and her daughter in the separatist eastern province of Donetsk.

EU to extend Russia sanctions to January 2016

Brussels - EU member states agreed Wednesday to extend damaging economic sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine crisis by another six months to the end of January 2016, officials said.
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