NATO leaders will respond to the Ukraine crisis by agreeing this week to create a "spearhead" rapid reaction force, potentially including several thousand troops, that could be sent to a hotspot in as little as two days, officials said on Sept. 1.
Ukraine's pro-western president accused Moscow of waging "direct and unconcealed aggression" amid signs that his country's army had lost ground to Russian-backed separatist forces in the industrial eastern regions. "Direct and unconcealed aggression has started against Ukraine from the side of our neighbouring country," Petro Poroshenko told journalists on Sept. 1.
The euro fell to a near one-year low against the dollar in the wake of soft European economic data and uncertainty over the crisis in Ukraine.
Ukrainian forces have suffered a series of setbacks, as pro-Russian rebels advance in the east of the country. Officials said nearly 700 soldiers had been taken prisoner since the rebel offensive began.
Ukraine's military has pulled its forces back from defending a vital airport in the east against what is decribed as a column of Russian tanks, as President Petro Poroshenko accused Moscow of "direct and open aggression".
Pro-Russian rebels softened their demand for full independence Monday, saying they would respect Ukraine's sovereignty in exchange for autonomy - a shift that reflects Moscow's desire to strike a deal at a new round of peace talks.
The five NATO new bases intended to contain the Russian threat will be located in Poland, Romania, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, a German newspaper reported Sunday.
MOSCOW - A shift in President Vladimir Putin's language on the conflict in eastern Ukraine reflects a transformation in the situation on the battlefield and sounds a warning to Kyiv to negotiate sooner rather than later.
London - The Australian government on Sept. 1 expanded sanctions against Russia in the sphere of defense, finance and the oil and gas industry, according to Australian broadcaster ABC.
LONDON - The presence of Russian troops on Ukrainian soil is "unjustified and unacceptable", British Prime Minister David Cameron said on Sept. 1.
NATO is ready to rise to every challenge, its Secretary General said ahead of the alliance's summit in Wales on Sept. 4-5. Anders Fogh Rasmussen said an action plan would be agreed to make NATO more responsive to what he called Russia's 'aggressive behaviour' in Ukraine, and all other security challenges.
Up to 15,000 Russian soldiers have been sent to Ukraine over the past two months, and at least 200 may have died in combat there, according to rights groups.
Alexander Bespalko and his son lifted parts from a burned-out Ukrainian armored personnel carrier in a village ravaged by the past week's battles. With homes destroyed and livelihoods lost, residents in the village of Hrabske must scrape for a living and at least scrap metal is reliable - with wrecked tanks, cars and APCs everywhere.
Kyiv forces retreated from Luhansk airport after battling a "Russian armed forces" tank column on Sept. 1, Kyiv said, in what Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko described as the latest stage of Moscow's "direct and open aggression".
Brussels - NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said he believes the NATO summit scheduled to be held in Wales on Sept. 4-5 will become one of the most important summits in the history of the Alliance as it will be held during numerous crises.
MINSK - Pro-Russia separatists sat down for preliminary peace talks with Ukraine in the Belarussian capital Minsk on Sept. 1 saying they would be prepared to stay part of Ukraine if they were granted "special status", according to Russian news agencies.
LONDON - The European Union could ban gas exports and limit industrial use as part of emergency measures to protect household energy supplies this winter, a source told Reuters, as it braces for a possible halt in Russian gas as a result of the Ukraine crisis.
Brussels - Decisions on the supply of weapons to Russia are made by every NATO country independently and NATO cannot interfere in such decisions, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the European Union will press ahead with tougher sanctions against Russia as evidence mounts that President Vladimir Putin is behind "attacks" against Ukraine.
Fighting continued in eastern Ukraine on Sept. 1, as a new round of talks were due to start in Minsk, Belarus, aimed at ending the crisis, which for the first time would include representatives of the Russia-backed separatist movement.