Ukraine warring sides hold talks to shore up faltering truce

 Ukraine`s warring sides tried to shore up a faltering truce deal Wednesday after Kiev said five soldiers were killed in clashes in the war-torn east. 

President Pranab Mukherjee to visit Russia

 President Pranab Mukherjee will embark on a five-day state visit to Russia on May 7, the external affairs ministry said on Wednesday.

EU's top diplomat says destabilised Russia in nobody's interest

 A destabilised and isolated Russia is in nobody`s interests, and sanctions are only being kept in place because a truce agreement in the conflict in Ukraine is not being fully implemented, the European Union`s foreign policy chief said on Wednesday.

Cuba`s Castro starts Russian visit

 Cuban President Raul Castro has arrived in Moscow and was to hold meetings Wednesday on a visit that will see him participate in the Victory Day military parade May 9.

Family, politics shape Putin`s view of WWII anniversary

Russian President Vladimir Putin grew up with tales of how his father battled the Nazis as a Red Army soldier and his mother lived through the punishing siege of Leningrad. 

US aims to make Iran nuclear deal immune to Russian, Chinese veto

Washington wants to be certain that any nuclear deal between Iran and major powers includes the possibility of restoring UN sanctions if Tehran breaks the agreement without risking Russian and Chinese vetoes, a senior US official said on Tuesday.

SpaceX to test `eject-button` for astronauts

 Private US space transport company SpaceX is to test an eject button for astronauts on Wednesday in the first flight test of the abort system on the Dragon spaceship. 

Jean-Marie Le Pen, France`s far-right master provocateur

 He labels gas chambers a "detail of history", believes Nazi occupation of France was not all bad, wants to join with Russia to save the "white world" and says he understands why some fight democracy.

Finnish military reaches out to reservists, denies Russia link

The Finnish military began sending letters to some 900,000 reservists on Monday in the largest campaign of its kind, amid increased tensions between the Nordic states and Russia over the Ukraine crisis.

Russia raises Stalin`s ghost amid nostalgia for past glories

Law student Mikhail Kosyrev used to have a negative view of Stalin but his attitude has drastically changed in recent years, he said, insisting the wartime tyrant meant well.

Boston bomber's brother talked of ''rage of hatred,'' court hears

Convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev`s brother, who decribed feeling a "rage of hatred," frightened at least one relative during a visit to Russia in 2012 when he espoused radical Islamist beliefs, a family member said on Monday.

Two killed, five wounded in Ukraine clashes: Kiev

Two soldiers were killed and another five were wounded in the past 24 hours in Ukraine`s separatist-held east, Kiev said Monday, as both sides traded blame over the increasing number of ceasefire violations.

Two Ukrainian servicemen killed in eastern Ukraine: Kiev military

Two Ukrainian servicemen were killed and five wounded in continued clashes with pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine despite a two-month ceasefire, Kiev`s military said on Monday.

Red Army veteran`s war years end in Gulag

Lev Netto felt nothing but delight when a crackly radio loudspeaker in a town outside Moscow announced on June 22, 1941 that the Nazis had invaded and the Soviet Union was now at war.

Russians embrace Kremlin-backed WW II ribbon

Millions of Russians will on May 9 don black-and-orange striped ribbons to mark Soviet victory in World War II, but critics accuse the Kremlin of using them to link wartime glory to current policies.

Ten key dates in World War II

World War II in Europe ended 70 years ago on May 8, 1945, more than five years after fighting erupted with the German invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939. 

China`s Xi to visit Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus

Chinese President Xi Jinping will visit Russia this week to attend World War II anniversary celebrations, the foreign ministry announced Monday, with Kazakhstan and Belarus also on his itinerary.

North Korean head of state replaces Kim Jong-Un for Moscow visit

 North Korea said Monday its titular head of state would attend a World War II anniversary in Russia this week, after leader Kim Jong-Un cancelled his much-anticipated trip to the Moscow event.

Ten Russian bikers reach German border ahead of WWII rally

 Ten pro-Kremlin Russian bikers, part of a larger group on a controversial World War II victory ride through Europe, reached the German border late Sunday, the Bavarian authorities said.

Russian ballet great Maya Plisetskaya dies at 89

 Maya Plisetskaya, considered one of the greatest ballerinas of the 20th century, died in Germany on Saturday at the age of 89, the director of the Bolshoi, Vladimir Urin, announced.