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When Life Hands You Lenin Statues, Make Darth Vader

At least when in Ukraine

(Newser) - Vladimir Lenin: Not exactly a friendly face, or one looked upon with great fondness in the Ukraine, which last year passed "anti-communization" laws aimed at stripping remnants of the Soviets from the public psyche and arena. As part of that, a statue of Lenin was due to be dismantled,... More »

Obama at UN: Putin Needs to Get on Board With Assad Ouster

POTUS wants Assad out, says 'tyrant' isn't best choice to fight ISIS

(Newser) - "Dangerous currents" are creating a "darker world," President Obama told the UN General Assembly on Monday, touching on a slew of issues including the "apocalyptic cult" ISIS, the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, and Syria's civil war, NBC News reports. Obama underscored the need to keep... More »

Russia-NATO War Games Run Risk of Actual War

Military exercises between Cold War rivals could spur real conflict: report

(Newser) - Like a game of Risk, Russia and NATO have not only been suspiciously eying each other in recent months, but also conducting military exercises in border areas that the Washington Post says are making Europe "a region of high military drama." Now a UK-based think tank is warning... More »

Physical Proof of Missile Possibly Found at MH17 Site

But prosecutors aren't even going so far as to say there's a 'causal connection'

(Newser) - Dutch prosecutors have said for the first time that they have found possible parts of a BUK missile system at the site in eastern Ukraine where Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was brought down last year , killing all 298 people on board. Prosecutors say in a statement today the parts "... More »

All Russian Military Deaths Are Now State Secrets

Putin amends law amid worries about a new Ukraine push

(Newser) - Well, isn't that curious: Vladimir Putin has just decreed that all Russian military deaths are state secrets—even those that occur when war hasn't been declared, reports the Guardian . Previously, only deaths that occurred during official wars were considered secret, and the Kremlin insists the change is just... More »

Russian Invasion of Ukraine Is 'Inevitable'

Michael Weiss, James Miller say offensive is coming this summer

(Newser) - If you thought Ukraine was in for a better summer than last year, think again. "Vladimir Putin's drip-drip invasion continues" and "a summer offensive is inevitable," write Michael Weiss and James Miller at the Daily Beast . They back up the claim with news from Ukraine President... More »

Mystery in Ukraine: Where Is the Golden Loaf?

Symbol of corruption now symbol of incompetence

(Newser) - In Ukraine, a symbol of the corruption of the ousted Viktor Yanukovich has disappeared and is now a symbol of the new regime's failure to deal with the legacy of that corruption, the Wall Street Journal reports. The "golden loaf"—a golden replica of a loaf of... More »

US: Russia Ready to Reignite Ukraine Conflict

Major buildup along the border alarms US

(Newser) - As hundreds of US troops carry out a training program for Ukraine's National Guard, Russian forces are up to something a lot shadier, according to the State Department. The department accuses Moscow of violating the already shaky Minsk ceasefire deal by deploying air defense systems in eastern Ukraine, building... More »

Czech Prez Bans US Envoy From Castle

Andrew Schapiro questioned Milos Zeman's plan to attend Moscow event

(Newser) - The US ambassador to the Czech Republic recently suggested it would be "awkward" if the country's president headed to a World War II remembrance in Moscow, as most EU leaders are skipping it over Russia's meddling in Ukraine. To show exactly what he thinks of the unsolicited... More »

George Soros: I'll Invest $1B in Ukraine if West Gets Involved

Billionaire says EU making 'terrible' mistake in its approach

(Newser) - It's time for the West to push for more private investment in the Ukraine, says billionaire George Soros, and he's ready to put his money where his mouth is. "The West can help Ukraine by increasing attractiveness for investors. A political risk insurance is necessary," Soros... More »

War-Torn Ukraine's New Woe: Trapped Miners

One confirmed dead in underground explosion

(Newser) - An explosion ripped through a coal mine before dawn in war-torn eastern Ukraine today, killing at least one miner and trapping more than 30 others underground, rebel and government officials say. The explosion at the Zasyadko mine in Donetsk, an eastern city under separatist control, occurred more than 3,280... More »

Ukraine Peacekeepers Would 'Destroy' Truce: Russia

Ambassador accuses Ukrainian president of calling for UN assistance

(Newser) - In an unraveling ceasefire with Russia-backed separatists, Ukraine lost the city of Debaltseve yesterday; the BBC also reports that shelling picked up in the rebel-held city of Donetsk, and that separatists have been conducting mortar attacks in the town of Shirokyne. So it's perhaps not surprising that Ukrainian President... More »

Ukraine Forces Give Up Key Town

Separatists gain control of Debaltseve rail hub

(Newser) - A ceasefire in Ukraine didn't stop fighting in the rail hub of Debaltseve, which links two rebel strongholds. Now, government troops are withdrawing from the area in what the Wall Street Journal calls a big setback; Ukraine had previously said it would hold the town as it grappled with... More »

In Ukraine, a Glaring Exception to the Ceasefire

Neither side removes heavy weapons from Debaltseve

(Newser) - A ceasefire in Ukraine was supposed to begin early Sunday, but the town of Debaltseve is seeing its worst clashes yet. Both rebels and the government are claiming to have control of the town, the BBC reports. Outside Debaltseve, relative peace has held—but rebels see the town as an... More »

Ukraine Ceasefire Begins

But will it survive?

(Newser) - Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has declared the beginning of a ceasefire amid fighting in Ukraine, CNN reports. But as the AP reports, there are no immediate indications of whether either side in the conflict that has killed more than 5,300 people is observing it. Under an agreement struck last... More »

Hours Ahead of Ceasefire, Ukraine Fighting Intensifies

Skeptics think this one might not hold, either

(Newser) - Heavy artillery fire roared today in eastern Ukraine as fighting between Ukrainian forces and Russia-backed separatists continued hours before a ceasefire was to take effect. Under an agreement reached Thursday , the warring sides are to cease firing at midnight local time, but the intense fighting has skeptics wondering whether this... More »

Peace Deal Signed, but Ukraine Battles Rage On

Ceasefire set to take effect Sunday

(Newser) - Fierce fighting raged today in east Ukraine between government troops and Russia-backed separatists as the warring sides attempted to bolster their positions ahead of a weekend ceasefire deadline . Combat persisted in the first hours after the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Germany, and France signed a peace deal yesterday in the... More »

Ukraine Ceasefire: Here's What Just Happened in Minsk

There are potential pitfalls

(Newser) - Russian President Vladimir Putin emerged from marathon Ukraine peace talks with the leaders of Ukraine, France, and Germany by announcing a new ceasefire deal today, but "potential pitfalls" abound, as per the AP . What you need to know:
  • The timeline: Putin told reporters that the ceasefire will be effective
... More »

US Eyes Arming Ukraine's Military

Officials seek huge boost in assistance amid rebel offensive

(Newser) - With fighting between government forces and pro-Russia rebels in Ukraine intensifying once again, the US government is taking a fresh look at arming Kiev's forces, despite the risk of Russian retaliation. Assistance so far has been limited to "non-lethal" items like body armor, but after recent setbacks for... More »

Pro-Russian Fighters Reject Peace Deal in Ukraine

New offensive could bring about more sanctions on Moscow

(Newser) - Pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine rejected a previously signed peace deal today and announced a new multi-pronged offensive against Ukrainian government troops. The main separatist leader in the Donetsk region said the insurgents won't join further peace talks, and another rebel went even further, saying they will not abide... More »

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