As tanks rumbled through eastern Ukraine this weekend, tightening the noose around pro-Russian militants preparing for a final battle in the provincial capitals of Donetsk and Lugansk, the citizens of Slavyansk were picking up the pieces of their shattered town.
Government forces in eastern Ukraine have begun storming the rebel-held city of Luhansk with tanks, Russian news agency reports quoting rebels say. Heavy fighting erupted as columns of government armour attacked from the south and west, rebel military leader Igor Strelkov was quoted as saying.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin, meeting briefly on Sunday before the World Cup soccer final in Brazil, called for a stepping-up of peace efforts in Ukraine, Putin's spokesman said. The pair have been in regular telephone contact over the Ukraine crisis, with Merkel urging Putin to use his influence with pro-Russian separatists to help bring about an end to fighting in the east of the former Soviet republic in which hundreds of people have been killed.
CNN’s FAREED ZAKARIA GPS features an interview with the Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs and former Prime Minister of Sweden, Carl Bildt. Bildt speaks with Fareed about Russia's continued tension with Ukraine and how the West- particularly President Obama- has responded to the situation. In addition, Bildt also reveals his thoughts about how this crisis may play out over the next two years.
While discussing President Obama's handle on the Ukrainian situation, Bildt said to Fareed, "...nothing is perfect, but I think it's been better than he's given credit for."
A transcript and a web exclusive video from the interview are available after the jump.
Vladimir Putin has waded into the Falkland Islands row, telling Britain it must sit down with Argentina for fresh talks to resolve the dispute.
The Russian president, who has faced international criticism over the annexation of Crimea and continuing tensions on the Ukraine border, said his country supported "the necessity" to find a solution to the 200-year-old feud.
DONETSK, Ukraine — Ukrainian forces battered the outer suburbs of the rebel stronghold of Luhansk on Sunday, pushing deeper than ever into the city but falling short of retaking it.
BUENOS AIRES — President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia and his Argentine counterpart signed deals on nuclear energy and other projects on Saturday in an effort to expand his country’s influence in Latin America. Russia will help build the third reactor of a nuclear power plant in Argentina, Mr. Putin said after meeting with the Argentine president,Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, here on Saturday.
President Vladimir Putin visited three Latin American countries over the weekend in a whirlwind tour aimed at demonstrating Moscow's resilience as an international power despite Western attempts at isolation stemming from the Ukraine crisis. Putin began his trip with visits to Cuba and Argentina, before traveling on to Brazil in time for the World Cup Final on Sunday. He signed a range of deals along the way, including agreements to establish Glonass positioning stations in each country, as well as a nuclear power plant development deal with Argentina.
Valeria Novodvorskaya, a long-standing Russian human rights activist and founder of Russia's Democratic Union Party, died of natural causes at a Moscow hospital on Saturday.
Indonesia is to name its new president, following a hotly-contested election that saw both candidates claim victory. Most "quick counts" after the 9 July election placed Joko Widodo, the popular Jakarta governor, in the lead.
After days of obstruction, Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine reached an agreement with Malaysia on Monday, surrendering the flight recorder boxes of the Malaysia Airlines jetliner downed by a surface-to-air missile last week, and allowing the bodies of the victims to be evacuated by train.
DONETSK, Ukraine - It took nearly five days and hours of negotiations late into the night, but Russia-backed rebels ceded some ground and turned over the flight recorder devices from Malaysia Airlines flight 17, shot down by a surface-to-air rocket last week, to Malaysian officials.
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Prime Minister Najib Razak’s announcement that his government had reached an agreement with pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, for the transfer of the bodies and so-called black boxes from Flight 17 to Malaysian representatives there, apparently achieved what pressure from far more powerful nations had failed to accomplish.
TOREZ, Ukraine - The Soviet-era refrigerated train cars were far too weak to combat the stench of death. At a sleepy whitewashed station in this run-down Ukrainian town, the cars had become a charnel-house collection point for bodies gathered from the rolling fields of wheat and sunflowers. A separatist struggle that began three months ago had already made this easternmost part of Ukraine a war zone; the downing of a passenger jet in the skies above had made the conflict global.
KUALA LUMPUR - Russia has called for the investigation into the downing of Malaysia Airlines MH17 to be led by the "international community" and not Ukraine, its ambassador to Malaysia said on July 22.
MOSCOW - Russia presented a combination of conciliation and bluster on July 21 over its handling of the downed Malaysia Airlines jet, with President Vladimir Putin seemingly probing for a way out of the crisis without appearing to compromise with the West.
MOSCOW - Russia's quasiwar in eastern Ukraine is in no small measure a product of long-felt anti-Western tensions within Vladimir Putin's Kremlin that are rapidly spiraling out of control.
It’s true that Putin engages in historical revisionism in his quest to force a "New Russia" onto the world-historical stage. But this aspect of Putin's rhetorical armamentarium strikes me as less a matter of developed ideology, of the Hitlerian or Leninist sort, than as something more analogous to a Mafia don's appeal to putative loyalties embedded deep in Sicilian cultural memory when trying to get the other dons to do what he wants. In other words, think Don Corleone, not G. W. F. Hegel, when trying to understand Putin's rhetorical m.o.
A piece of wreckage from the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200 that was shot down in eastern Ukraine last week bears telltale marks of small pieces of high-velocity shrapnel that apparently crippled the jet in flight. Riddled with these perforations and buffeted by a blast wave as it flew high above the conflict zone, the plane then most likely sheared apart.