President Vladimir Putin accused the West of trying to destroy Russia, drawing a parallel with Hitler's invasion, and said Moscow will never bend to the will of foreigners, talking tough in an annual address after a year of conflict and crisis that has severely strained ties with the United States and Europe.
Weak links in Russia’s petroleum-refinery network and the Kremlin’s power play in Ukraine are shortchanging Central Asian petrol markets, importers complain. With alternatives expensive or unfeasible, and regional refining capacity severely limited, local energy executives are ruing Moscow’s traditional sway over the region’s petrol supply.
While the cease-fire between Ukraine and pro-Russian and Russian fighters holds steady, another fight is poised to begin over Russian gas for Ukraine. And, this time, it’s a fight that, by default, involves Ukraine’s small, pro-Western neighbor, Moldova, too.
Confronted with the most daunting security challenge since the end of the Cold War, NATO leaders are preparing to gather in the United Kingdom for a September 4-5 summit. Officials in Georgia – which, like Ukraine at present, has direct experience with Russian aggression -- want NATO to show greater resolve in confronting the Kremlin’s creeping expansionism.
It's not often that a senior government minister in a European Union member state makes an overtly racist joke on live TV, still rarer that he keeps his job and indeed escapes any sort of censure after doing so.
That was Moscow's official response to how a group of Russian paratroopers ended up in Ukraine. The soldiers -- apparently from a division based in Kostroma, a city on the Volga River north of Moscow -- were captured by Ukrainian forces, who posted videos of some of their interrogations online.
Almost 80 years ago, ideological true believers from all over the world flocked to Spain to fight in a civil war, serving in the famed International Brigades on the Republican side. These days, echoes of Spain can be found in Ukraine, where foreign ideologues now can be found battling separatists backed by Vladimir Putin’s Russia.
One of Ukraine’s most storied football clubs has become a casualty of the country’s separatist tumult. Six foreign-born players have abandoned Shakhtar Donetsk, leaving the defending Ukrainian Premier League champion short-handed on the eve of the start of the 2014-15 season.
The Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) has released audio purporting to show pro-Russian militants in eastern Ukraine discussing receipt of sophisticated antiaircraft weapons and the crews to man them from Russia.
The SBU believes the weapons were used to shoot down a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet on July 17, killing some 300 people.