Thirteen soldiers and civilians have died in Ukraine, officials said Monday, in the deadliest surge of violence since the government and pro-Russian insurgents struck a shaky truce in their five-month conflict.
Pro-Russian rebels defiantly announced Tuesday they would stage their own elections in November, raising the stakes in a standoff with Kiev despite both sides moving to end five months of deadly fighting.
Moscow is considering measures to disconnect Russian cyberspace, the last forum for free expression in the country, in emergency situations such as military hostilities or major protests, a newspaper reported on Friday.
Ukraine`s non-aligned status is "a basic issue" for Moscow and efforts in Kiev to scrap it are an American-inspired bid to drive a wedge between Russia and Europe, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said on Saturday.
Russia`s parliamentary speaker on Friday denounced new US sanctions against Moscow as "disconnected from reality", and charged the Ukraine crisis was an excuse for Washington to drum up tensions with its Cold War-era foe.
Chinese President Xi Jinping called for Beijing and Moscow to offer each other a "helping hand" in the face of external challenges, at talks with his counterpart Vladimir Putin in Tajikistan on Thursday, state media reported.