Rebels in east Ukraine appeared on Wednesday to have seized swathes of territory from government forces who abandoned vehicles and ammunition as they retreated, while Western intelligence said Russian army units were operating inside the country.
Talks between the leaders of Russia and Ukraine apparently failed to make a major breakthrough towards ending brutal fighting in east Ukraine Wednesday as strongman Vladimir Putin played down the entry by his troops into the former Soviet state.
When 15-year-old Daniil's family packed up their belongings in the rebel stronghold of Donetsk in May and moved to the coast of Ukraine's Azov Sea to get away from the fighting, they thought they were safe.
The presidents of Russia and Ukraine on Tuesday sat down to crunch one-on-one talks over heavy fighting in east Ukraine as the Kremlin admitted for the first time its troops had entered its neighbour's territory.
Russia complained Monday of a failure to release details of the investigation into the Malaysian jet that crashed in Ukraine in July, accusing international investigators of lack of transparency.
The Kremlin announced plans on Monday for a second aid convoy into Ukraine, heightening tensions on the eve of crunch talks, while fresh clashes raged along the border and around the main rebel-held city.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel pushed for a new ceasefire in crisis talks with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, as the troubled country prepared for Independence Day celebrations on Sunday and a controversial Russian convoy returned home.
Face covered in soot, a grandfather sits in front of the three bodies of his loved ones muttering again and again his lament.They only stayed behind in Ukraine's war-torn city of Donetsk because of him, he mumbles.
Ukrainian forces may be pummelling them daily and key leaders might have just quit but defiant pro-Russian rebels say any talk of them being on the back foot is just crude propaganda from Kiev.
NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen sharply criticised the Russian decision to advance a "so-called" aid convoy into Ukraine on Friday as a "blatant breach" of international commitments that "only deepens the crisis".
Kuala Lumpur -
Millions of black-clad Malaysians fell silent Friday in tribute to their 43 countrymen killed in the MH17 disaster as the first remains were brought home and laid to rest amid deep sorrow and anger.
Ukraine's president said he will "talk peace" with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin by demanding the withdrawal of pro-Kremlin militants from the war-torn east when they meet next week for the first time in months.
Fierce fighting between government forces and pro-Russian rebels left dozens of civilians dead on Wednesday with artillery pounding central Donetsk as Ukrainian troops pushed on with a bloody offensive.
Ukraine said Tuesday fighting had erupted in the heart of major rebel stronghold Lugansk, as the bodies of 17 civilians fleeing the city were recovered from wreckage of their destroyed convoy.
Anastasiya clutches two empty five-litre bottles as she joins a queue of Donetsk residents buying water in the rebel-held east Ukrainian city where supplies were abruptly cut off by shelling damage.
Heads resting on their bags as they wait in stifling heat in their van, 11 women sit stranded at the Ukrainian border as a dispute over a mammoth Russian aid convoy blocks their mission to reach relatives stuck inside besieged Lugansk.
Germany warned Sunday that direct military clashes between Russia and Ukraine must be avoided at all costs as Kiev and Moscow's top diplomats joined crisis talks with only faint hope of a breakthrough.
U.S. Air Force search and rescue personnel observe a universal distress sign on a coastal roadway in northeastern Japan
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Katrina R. Menchaca
The recent flooding in Pakistan has devastated large areas of the country.
A woman being helped off her car in Queensland during the flood
3.2 million people in Somalia require immediate food assistance. Most were internally displaced people; the rest were affected either by the conflict, by drought and an underlying livelihoods crisis, or both.