An inline skater whizzes by, while children frolic on a playground just 50 meters from stacks of sandbags and groups of heavily armed men in green fatigues, who guard the entrance to the mayor’s office in Sloviansk, Ukraine. A white 4×4 vehicle is parked right by the playground—its passengers are inside the building, talking to the town’s self-proclaimed “people’s mayor,” Vyacheslav Ponomaryov.
Ukraine’s best hope for keeping furnaces and factories running through next winter is to store as much natural gas as it can after a U.S. aid pledge fell far short of the nation’s needs. Energy supplies have given Russian leader Vladimir Putin powerful economic leverage in his battle with Ukraine. The former Soviet republic gets half its gas from Russia, and it’s the transit route for 50 to 60 percent of the gas Russia sells to other European nations.
Russia will respond if its interests in Ukraine are attacked, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said, drawing a parallel with the 2008 Georgian war. Speaking to Russian state TV channel RT, Mr Lavrov also accused the US of "running the show" in Ukraine.
Russia has received a proposal from European Union Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger for a three-way meeting on gas between Russia, Ukraine and the European Commission, a spokeswoman at the Russian Energy Ministry said on April 23.
The Ukrainian town councilor whose apparent torture and murder helped to prompt a threatened new government offensive in the east was mobbed by a hostile, pro-Russian crowd before he disappeared, a video of the incident shows.
A small army of international monitors has gone to the gritty lands of eastern Ukraine to persuade separatist militias to lay down their weapons - but for now at least the most they may be able to hope for is to stop a bad situation getting worse.
WARSAW — There is a real risk that eastern regions of Ukraine will separate from the country, Poland's Prime Minister Donald Tusk said on April 23.
MOSCOW — Russia continued Wednesday to ratchet up pressure on the government in Kiev, warning that events in eastern Ukraine could prompt a military response and again accusing the United States of directing events there.
The crisis in Ukraine deepened further overnight following the departure of the US vice-president, Joe Biden, from Kyiv after a two-day visit.
Pro-Kremlin rebels in Ukraine braced April 23 for a renewed military offensive by Kyiv as US troops headed to region in a show of force after Washington again warned Moscow over the escalating crisis.
The United States said it plans to deploy 600 troops to Poland and the Baltic states to "reassure our allies and partners" after threatening Russia with more sanctions.
Over the past few years, NATO countries have helped Russia revolutionize its armed forces. Now questions are arising about a German defense contractor that trained the Russian military.
Ukraine's government said on April 23 the United States had promised to stand by it in the face of aggression, and announced that it would press ahead with a security operation to crack down on pro-Russian armed groups.
VIENNA — Additional sanctions against Russia would inflame tensions between Moscow and Kyiv, Austria's chancellor said on April 23, urging de-escalation of the conflict instead.
Russia would retaliate if its citizens' interests were threatened and its territory came under attack, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was quoted as saying, adding the United States was behind events in Ukraine.
When a group of pro-Kyiv activists decided to hold a rally in Ukraine's eastern city of Donetsk, they found that no shops stocked ribbons in blue and yellow, the colors of the Ukrainian flag.
Pro-Russian gunmen in eastern Ukraine say they are holding an American journalist captive. Simon Ostrovsky, a journalist for Vice News, has not been seen since early Tuesday.
The Ukrainian town councilor whose apparent torture and murder helped prompt a new government offensive in the east was mobbed by a hostile, pro-Russian crowd before he disappeared, a video of the incident shows.
Russia, Ukraine, Slovakia and the European Commission may meet on April 24 in Bratislava to negotiate a possible solution for Ukraine's gas crisis, Ukraine's Energy Minister Yuri Prodan said on April 23.
BRUSSELS - The US on April 22 announced it is sending hundreds of troops for military exercises to four countries in Eastern Europe to assure them of its commitment to the region's defence amid ongoing tension in Ukraine.
MOSCOW — Russia's navy launched snap military exercises involving its fleet in the Caspian Sea, Interfax reported the Defense Ministry as saying on April 23.