Ukrainian Anna Duritska, who was with Boris Nemtsov when he was killed in the street in Moscow on Feb. 27, has requested Russian authorities to let her return to Ukraine, but hasn't been allowed to do so for unclear reasons.
Editor's Note: The following is the English-language translation of an op-ed by Boris Nemtsov, originally published on Sept. 1, 2014 in the Kyiv Post. Nemtsov, the Russian opposition leader, was assassinated on Feb. 27 close to the Kremlin's Red Square, before he was going to lead a March 1 rally in opposition to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
At first glance, and from the point of view of a sane person, the war between Russia and Ukraine is some sort of a nightmare, a madness that only brings grief, conflicts and problems to all.
The main event of last week was the military victory by what President Vladimir Putin called "yesterday's tractor drivers" in Debaltseve. That statement is an almost verbatim replay of this very old Soviet-era joke: "TASS reports that a peaceful Soviet tractor came under fire from Chinese territory. The tractor immediately returned fire, destroying three enemy squadrons, then started its engines and flew into orbit. The tractor driver is reported to be feeling fine."
The events that have taken place after Minsk II indicate that Russia has actually produced an ultimatum to Ukraine, second Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma believes.
Editor's Note: This is an English-language translation done by the Kyiv Post of a leaked analytical note published by the Russian online newspaper Novaya Gazeta on Feb. 24. According to sources of Novaya Gazeta, one of Russia's last independent newspaeprs, this document was written and provided to the President Vladimir Putin's office for consideration between Feb. 4-12, 2014, the same month that the EuroMaidan Revolution drove President Viktor Yanukovych from power on Feb. 22, 2014.
The United Kingdom stunned officials across Europe with a unilateral announcement that it would send 75 troops to Ukraine within the month to train the country's embattled forces in four skill sets – infantry, intelligence, logistics and medical.
NOVOAZOVSK, Ukraine – Vladimir remembers the day last summer when the Russian army entered Novoazovsk. The 73-year-old retiree, who fears reprisals if his full name is published, is playing chess on a bench by the Azov Sea. "We won't let war destroy of playing chess," he says.
MARIUPOL, Ukraine -- Despite the Minsk II cease-fire agreement, which was supposed to take effect on Feb. 15, shelling from the Russian side has continued along the Mariupol front and Ukraine's military expect the Azov Sea port city of 500,000 people will be the target of a major Russian assault within the next weeks.
Four terrorists that attacked a peaceful rally in Kharkiv today were trained in Russia and using Russian weapons, the Security Service of Ukraine said today. They had planned a series of further attacks following the bombing, which killed at least two and wounded 11, but were arrested before they could carry them out.
Ukraine has closed 23 checkpoints on the border with Russia as the Kremlin build up forces close to the strategic port city of Mariupol, situated between Russia and Crimea in Donetsk Oblast.
An exhibition of Russian weapons captured from separatist and Russian forces during battles in the east of Ukraine opened in Kyiv on Feb. 21. The exhibition called "Presence" aims to prove Russian military involvement in Ukraine.
Amid a war going badly and a flailing economy, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko will have more bad news to deal with next week when he finds his confectionary empire challenged in the courts by a British architecture firm. Despite an election campaign pledge made almost a year ago to sell Roshen, the billionaire president has hung on to the company.
Ukraine suffered a further blow today when separatists and Russian forces seized the village of Chornukhyne, located close to the city of Debaltseve.
I'm in Mariupol on the Azov Sea in Ukraine's southeast. This port city may be the next place to feel the full force of the “ceasefire” brokered by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her sidekick, French President Francois Hollande. The officers from the Ukrainian battalion I'm with, say that around 70 Russian tanks, armored personnel carrier and self-propelled artillery pieces, which crossed the Russian border into Ukraine overnight, are trundling towards us.
The Kyiv Post examines potential Ukrainian-held targets for attack by Russian forces and their proxies.
Thousands of Ukrainian soldiers fled for their lives -- and most made it to safety -- after retreating overnight on Feb. 17-18 from the Donetsk Oblast city that they had been holding. They surrendered to the overwhelming military superiority of Russian forces and their proxies, which had been pounding the Ukrainian positions for weeks. An estimated several thousand Ukrainian soldiers had been holding Debaltseve, a once strategic railway junction with a pre-war population of 30,000 people, at the Donetsk-Luhansk oblast borders. It's not clear how many survived, how many were killed and how many were wounded in the escape.
LYSYCHANSK and STANITSA LUHANSKA, Ukraine – Ruslan Onishchenko, a charismatic chunky man with a penchant for strong language and oratory, stands before a line of soldiers at military barracks near Lysychansk.
LUHANSKE, Ukraine – An endless line of Ukrainian soldiers stretched out along the road approaching Artemivsk, the closest city to Debaltseve, in Donetsk Oblast. Some of them were walking, others sat atop of armored vehicles that were leaving the city that could have become their trap after months of bitter fights.
Editor's Note: The following is the transcript and video of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko's Feb. 18 statement on the retreat of Ukrainian forces from Debaltseve in Ukraine's Donetsk Oblast.
The battle of Debaltseve is becoming another potentially pivotal turning point in the war for Donbas, and perhaps also for Ukraine. It is perhaps of similar significance to recent battles for Illovaisk in September and also Donetsk airport, where Ukrainian forces ultimately suffered defeat at the hands of now much better equipped Russian backed rebel forces.