Russia keeps its powder dry as Ukraine votes

As war-weary Ukraine prepares to vote in a snap parliamentary election on Sunday, its former master Russia stands by for once apparently unable to influence the outcome.

Ukraine set to cement shift West in wartime vote

 War-weary Ukrainians pick a powerful new parliament next Sunday set to be dominated by pro-Western and nationalist forces who will determine if President Petro Poroshenko can make peace with the Kremlin while holding on to the separatist east.

Some leaders refuse to accept `reality` in Ukraine: Kremlin

Russian President Vladimir Putin`s spokesman on Friday accused some leaders of refusing to accept "reality" in Ukraine, after key talks between the Kremlin strongman and his Ukrainian counterpart alongside European leaders.

Georgia warns Russia against 'annexing' its separatist region

Georgia on Wednesday warned Russia against taking further steps to integrate its separatist region of Abkhazia, saying it would create new security problems in Europe.

Russia-Ukraine clashes reach the red carpet

Philip Illienko`s demands to ban Russian movies he considered anti-Ukrainian used to be met with short shrift but now he is the one calling the shots. 

Thousands march in Moscow against Kremlin role in Ukraine conflict

Thousands of Russians on Sunday marched through Moscow to protest against the Kremlin`s involvement in the Ukraine crisis, in the country`s first major anti-war rally since fighting erupted in April.

Putin, Merkel stress maintenance of Ukraine ceasefire: Kremlin

Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel discussed the importance of maintaining the ceasefire in Ukraine in a phone conversation, the Kremlin said in a statement on Monday.

NATO leaders keep up pressure on Russia despite Ukraine hopes
NATO leaders keep up pressure on Russia despite Ukraine hopes

Ukraine on Thursday raised hopes of a ceasefire with pro-Moscow rebels during a NATO summit where Britain and the United States urged the international community to stand up to Russia and counter the threat from Islamic State.

Russia backs ceasefire but not party to agreement: Kremlin

Russian and Ukrainian leaders agreed Wednesday on steps needed for a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine, but Moscow cannot be party to any agreement as it is not involved in the conflict, a Kremlin spokesman said.

Russia and NATO square off over Ukraine
Russia and NATO square off over Ukraine

Russia vowed on Tuesday to adopt a beefed up new military doctrine over NATO`s plans to establish a rapid-response team that could ward off the Kremlin`s expansion into Ukraine and feared push further west.

How Maria Sharapova may soon not be a Russian!
How Maria Sharapova may soon not be a Russian!

Russian tennis ace Maria Sharapova would soon be an outlaw if she does not fly to Moscow and comply with President Vladimir Putin's new law that requires all 10 million Russians with dual citizenship to register with the Kremlin.

Moscow denies weapon transfer to Ukrainian insurgents

The Kremlin on Sunday said Russia is not sending any military equipment to militia in eastern Ukraine.

Vladimir Putin tones down rhetoric on Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin travelled to a much-hyped meeting in Crimea amid expectations of more saber-rattling over Ukraine, but he instead struck a conciliatory note and called for peace in a speech on Thursday that received surprisingly brief coverage on Russian television.

Disputed Russian convoy approaches southeastern Ukraine

A Russian aid convoy that Kiev fears Moscow could use to help arm pro-Kremlin insurgents moved closer to separatist southeastern Ukraine, a Russian Emergencies Ministry spokesman said.

Russia pulls plug on `last independent TV show`

A programme seen as Russia`s last independent show on mainstream television has been taken off the air amid an upsurge in anti-Western rhetoric, in a move condemned by Kremlin critics.

Disenchanted with Putin, some Russians vote with their feet

Most of Vladimir Paley`s clients want him to dig up their family history with one goal in mind: making a case to obtain foreign citizenship and leave Russia.

Ukraine forces clash with rebels around major airport

Intense battles raged on Friday around the airport in the main stronghold of pro-Kremlin insurgents as Ukraine`s new leader laid out tough terms for a ceasefire demanded by his European allies and Russia.

Kremlin silent as pro-Russian rebels retreat in Ukraine

As a Ukrainian government offensive sends separatists retreating from their strongholds in the country`s restive east, there are signs that Moscow is seeking to distance itself from the pro-Russian rebels.

3 bridges blown up in Ukraine to block rebel city

Three bridges on key roads leading into the Ukrainian city of Donetsk were blown up today -- an apparent attempt to slow down any possible assault by government forces on the rebel-held stronghold.

Retreating rebels dig in around Ukraine coal hub

Retreating pro-Russian insurgents dug on Monday in Ukraine`s sprawling industrial hub of Donetsk after government forces scored a string of morale-boosting victories in the bloody battle for the future of the country.