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On Ukraine's frontline, fears and hopes after troops pull back

Pavlograd - The chickens pecking around the rural Ukrainian village of Katerynivka paint a tranquil atmosphere. But a closer look reveals bullet holes on the houses of residents hopeful that peace can finally return following a long-awaited troop withdrawal.

Russia's Medvedev says Cuba can 'rely' on Moscow

Havana - Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev told Cuba on Thursday it could rely on Moscow's support as he began a two-day visit, with Havana looking to shore up aid amid severe fuel shortages it blames on US sanctions.

France pushes risky bet on detente with Moscow

Paris - French President Emmanuel Macron senses an opportunity to bring Russia's Vladimir Putin back in from the cold and potentially help usher in peace in Ukraine, an ambitious -- and risky -- undertaking that Western allies might not welcome.

German media, lawmakers point finger at Moscow over executed Georgian

Berlin - Despite Russian denials, German politicians and media are blaming Moscow for the Berlin assassination of a Georgian who once fought Russian forces in Chechnya, an affair that could spark a diplomatic crisis.

Greenland row is Trump positioning for Arctic battle: expert

Copenhagen - The diplomatic row that has erupted between Washington and Copenhagen over Greenland is just one part of a broader strategic battle being waged over control of the Arctic, according to one expert.

Italy's Salvini battles accusations of bid for Russian funding

Rome - Matteo Salvini is fighting tooth and nail against suggestions that his far-right League party tried to get covert Russian payments during talks in Moscow last year.

Putin meets pope, 'welcoming' populist govt during Italy trip

Rome - Russian President Vladimir Putin paid a lightning visit to Rome on Thursday, including talks with the pope, hailing efforts by Italy's populist government to ease sanctions despite Moscow's ongoing crisis with the West.

France hosts Russia PM in rare high-level visit

Le Havre - French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe on Monday held talks with Russia's premier Dmitry Medvedev, in a rare high-level visit at a time of frosty ties between Moscow and the West.

Russia opens first Arctic train service

Sanktpeterburg - The first tourist train travelling through Russia's Arctic region and on to Norway set off from Saint Petersburg station on Wednesday with 91 passengers aboard for the inaugural trial journey.

Showdown in Congress between Trump, Democrats intensifies

Washington - The clash between US President Donald Trump and the Democratic majority in Congress intensified on Monday, with the White House telling the president's former lawyer to ignore a subpoena to testify about Trump's alleged obstruction of justice in the Ru...

Russia's increasing influence in Cuba stirs ghost of Cold War

Havana - Russia is stirring the ghosts of Cuba's Cold War past as it looks to re-establish its influence in the Communist-run island nation, although this time analysts say Moscow has no intention of bankrolling Havana.

Family of MH17 victim sues Russia banks, US money transfer companies

New York - The family of an American teenager killed aboard the MH17 flight launched a court case Thursday against Russian banks and US money transfer companies for helping to finance pro-Moscow separatists accused of shooting it down over Ukraine.

For jaded Russians, Ukraine's Zelensky is 'breath of fresh air'

Moscow - The soaring popularity of Ukrainian comedian Volodymyr Zelensky, who led the first round of presidential polls, has intrigued Russians with many warming to his calls for dialogue with Moscow, and laughing along with his Russian-language humour.

Dropping weapons treaty would let US update its nuclear arsenal

Washington - The US scrapping of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty with Russia could launch a new arms race, but will also allow the United States to update its nuclear arsenal, a publicly stated goal for the past year.

New York's KGB museum offers Cold War nostalgia fix

New York - Assassinations in broad daylight. Ruthless agents plotting undercover. Bugging devices in every Western capital. Three decades after the fall of the Soviet Union, the specter of the notorious KGB still looms large in the public imagination.

Orthodox Patriarch welcomes Ukraine's independent church

Ankara - The Orthodox Patriarch has welcomed the creation of an Orthodox church in Ukraine independent of Moscow and invited its leader to Istanbul to receive official confirmation of its status.

Yepifaniy, head of Ukraine's new orthodox church

Kiev - Yepifaniy, who was on Saturday elected the head of Ukraine's new Orthodox church, is known as a critic of Moscow's religious influence in Ukraine and even helped Kiev's army in their struggle against the pro-Russian independence movement.

Michael Cohen, Trump's loyal fixer turned tell-all accuser

New York - He was the personal lawyer to Donald Trump and the epitome of loyalty -- a man who said he would "take a bullet" for his boss.

Russian influence on show in C. African beauty contest

Bangui - Clad in sleek red gowns and wreathed in smiles, the models lined up in Bangui stadium for the capital's first Miss Central African Republic beauty pageant for three years -- all thanks to Russia.

Ukraine holds military drills after Russia sea confrontation

Babakh-tarama - A Ukrainian general wearing camouflage and a bulletproof vest looks out from his Mi-8 helicopter flying over the Sea of Azov, the flashpoint of rising tensions between Kiev and Moscow."Our presumed enemy is Russia.

Putin says Russia ditching dollar in sanctions response

Moscow - President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that Russia had no choice but to cut its dependency on dollars to conduct trade, after becoming the target of increasingly severe US sanctions.

US sanctions Iran for shipping oil to Syria

Washington - The US slapped fresh sanctions on Iran Tuesday, accusing it of creating a complex web of Russian cut-out companies and Syrian intermediaries to ship oil to Damascus, which in turn bankrolled Hezbollah and Hamas.

Russia turns up uninvited to major NATO wargames

Norway - The whirring of a low-flying Soviet Union-era war plane signalled Russia's uninvited arrival to NATO's biggest military exercise since the end of the Cold War.

Moscow wants UN resolution to preserve nuclear arms treaty

New York - The US pushed back Thursday against a Russian draft resolution to the UN General Assembly that proposed to preserve the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) that the US plans to pull out of, according to diplomatic sources.

NATO does not want new nuclear arms race: alliance chief

Apo - NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said Wednesday he did not see the alliance's member states deploying more nuclear weapons in Europe in response to a new Russian missile programme.

No more taxi service to Space Station after Soyuz fiasco

Washington - The taxi service to the orbiting International Space Station is taking no passengers until further notice.

Jailed Ukrainian filmmaker Sentsov on Sakharov Prize short list

Apo - Jailed Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, Russia's most famous prisoner, is among three finalists for this year's prestigious Sakharov Prize, the European Parliament announced Tuesday.

Young ballerinas being ruined by Instagram says star Vishneva

Paris - One of ballet's biggest stars has warned that the development of young ballerinas is being jeopardised by viral videos of hyper-elastic dancers performing incredible tricks.

3,000 march in Moscow against unpopular pension reforms

Moscow - About 3,000 people demonstrated in Moscow on Saturday against deeply unpopular government plans to raise the retirement age, which have sparked public anger.

Israel air force chief in Moscow for plane downing meeting

Moscow - Israel's air force commander held a "transparent discussion" with Russian officials in Moscow on Thursday, the Israeli army said, after a Russian warplane was downed by Syria earlier in the week following Israeli air strikes.
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