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Crisis News

IMF could release new funds to Ukraine at end of July

Washington - The International Monetary Fund signaled Thursday it could release $1.7 billion in bailout funds next week to Ukraine as the country reels from civil war and seeks private-sector debt relief.

Russia dismisses Kiev's 'imitation' of constitutional reform

Moscow - Russia on Friday dismissed constitutional amendments proposed by Kiev to decentralise Ukraine as part of the peace process as merely an "imitation" of compliance.

Ukraine takes first step toward giving rebels self-rule

Kiev - Ukraine's parliament took the first step Thursday toward granting temporary self-rule to pro-Russian rebels under a change to the constitution the West hopes can end one of Europe's deadliest wars in recent years.

Eleven killed in heaviest Ukraine clashes in weeks

Kiev - Ukraine lost eight soldiers Wednesday in a dramatic spike in fighting with pro-Russian gunmen that further imperilled a truce Washington's top European envoy is desperately trying to salvage in Kiev.

Ukrainian pilot held in Russia faces 25 years in jail

Moscow - Russian investigators said Monday that a Ukrainian pilot controversially detained in Moscow faces up to 25 years in prison for her alleged involvement in the killing of two Russian journalists.

Poroshenko faces new security crisis in western Ukraine

Kiev - President Petro Poroshenko confronted a fresh crisis Monday as a deadly standoff between interior ministry units and armed Ukrainian ultranationalists entered a third day in a western enclave near Hungary.

Four killed in eastern Ukraine clashes

Kiev - Two soldiers, a pro-Russian rebel and a civilian were killed in 24 hours of fighting in eastern Ukraine, the Ukrainian military and rebels said separately on Sunday.

Merkel, Hollande urge Ukraine leader to give rebels self-rule

Kiev - German Chancellor Angel Merkel and French President Francois Hollande took the rare step Friday of pressing Ukraine's Western-backed leader to ensure partial self-rule for the pro-Russian separatist east.

Two Ukraine troops, one civilian killed after failed talks

Kiev - Ukraine on Wednesday reported the death of two soldiers and was blamed by pro-Russian rebels for killing a civilian in fighting that followed another failed round of EU-mediated peace talks.

Russia cuts off power supplies to Ukraine rebels: Kiev

Kiev - Kiev said Tuesday that Russia had cut off electricity to Ukraine's rebel-run regions in what appears to be another sign that Moscow is losing interest in plans to splinter its neighbour.

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.
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