UNITED NATIONS — Deadly rocket attacks on the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol this weekend that "knowingly targeted civilians" violated international humanitarian law and could amount to war crimes, the U.N. political chief said Monday.
Editor's Note: The Kyiv Post is not publishing the most graphic videos of human rights abuses and war crimes allegedly committed by the Kremlin-backed fighters waging war in eastern Ukraine.
Extremely graphic video and photographic material appeared on a number of Kremlin-backed separatist websites showing evidence of torture and evidence of war crimes being committed against captured Ukrainian soldiers.
Russia has been downgraded to junk status for the first time in a decade due to the collapsing oil price, the tumbling value of the ruble and sanctions imposed because of its intervention in Ukraine. Ratings agency Standard & Poor's said the downgrade was caused by the country's reduced flexibility to cut interest rates and a weakening of the financial system.
MOSCOW - Masked Russian riot police on Jan. 26 raided the office of a television channel serving Crimean Tatars, a minority ethnic group in Crimea that opposed Moscow's seizure of the peninsula from Ukraine last year.
DONETSK - The shattered remains of a tank bearing a tattered Ukrainian flag sat beside the main highway to Mariupol on Jan. 26 afternoon, a remnant of what pro-Russian rebel forces said was a failed attempt by Ukrainian forces to push into rebel-held territory a few days after a shelling attack left 30 dead in that port city.
BRUSSELS - European Union hawks on Russia, including Poland and Lithuania, called on Jan. 26 for sanctions on Moscow to be stepped up after a new offensive by pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine, but EU power-broker Germany took a more cautious line.
Of all the possible reactions to a financial crisis, building a vacation home is perhaps one of the most unlikely. And yet, this is exactly what is happening in Russia right now. The number of orders to build houses and dachas on empty plots has soared three times since the end of last summer, a report by construction company Nanokarkas found.
Russian businessman Vladimir Yakunin, a close assistant of President Vladimir Putin, who was blacklisted by the USA after the annexation of Crimea last year, is taking part in a conference on the end of the Holocaust in Prague on Jan. 26.
A Polish minister has accused France of harming EU solidarity on Russia in a sign of tension ahead of sanctions talks. The Polish agriculture minister, Marek Sawicki, made the comments in Brussels on Jan. 26 ahead of a regular meeting with his EU counterparts.
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The 63rd Miss Universe title has gone to Miss Colombia, but not without a bit of audience upset along the way about the fate of Miss Jamaica. Pageant fans aren't exactly known for booing the other teams, but the crankiness overwhelmed the claps Sunday night in Doral, Fla., as Kaci Fennell was named fourth runner-up.
Ukraine's Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk on Jan. 26 announced a "state of emergency" in war-torn Donbas and placed the rest of the country on "high-alert" as clashes flared all along the frontline.
UNITED NATIONS - Whoever carried out last weekend's deadly rocket attacks on the government-held port city of Mariupol in eastern Ukraine intentionally targeted civilians, which would constitute a war crime, a senior U.N. official said on Jan. 26.
UNITED NATIONS - Last weekend's attacks on the port city of Mariupol in eastern Ukraine by pro-Russian separatists show that Moscow's objective is to increase the Ukrainian territory it controls, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power said on Jan. 26.
BRUSSELS - NATO blamed Russian-backed separatists on Jan. 26 for a sharp escalation of violence in eastern Ukraine and called on Moscow to stop destabilizing Ukraine.
NATO has accused Russia of "sharply" escalating the crisis in eastern Ukraine in recent days by sending even more of its own troops into the country along with "hundreds" of pieces of advanced weaponry.
Acting spokesman of the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces Vladyslav Selezniov has reported that 184 Ukrainian servicemen remain in militants' captivity.
Residents of Mariupol, the Donetsk Oblast city of a half-million people shelled by Kremlin separatists on Jan. 24, is bracing for possible further attacks while also burying their dead and starting to rebuild their homes and their lives. At least 30 people were killed and nearly 100 others injured in a rocket barrage that struck a residential neighborhood and killed mostly civilians. All evidence points to a Grad missile attack from regions of Donetsk Oblast controlled by Russian-backed separatists. The renewed military offensive by Russia and their proxies in Ukraine may prompt tougher economic sanctions from the West against Russian President Vladimir Putin. More than 10,000 people have been killed in Russia's war against Ukraine when the estimated Russian casualties are counted.
A bill prepared by the Ukrainian government to introduce amendments to some laws on designated terrorist organizations has been tabled in parliament.
BERLIN - Germany's Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier hinted at further sanctions on Russia on Jan. 26, saying the European Union would have to react if pro-Russian separatists launched a broad offensive on the east Ukrainian port city of Mariupol, EFE agency reported.