Russia

Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon December 1, 2014

What It's Like to Be Detained in Russia; Public Confidence in Local Hospitals

Greenpeace's Arctic Sunrise.
Apples and oranges Creative Commons

It’s been just over a year since Russian authorities arrested 30 activists aboard Greenpeace’s Rainbow Warrior III -- a ship protesting Russia’s controversial oil rig in the Arctic. Among those arrested was the ship’s captain, Peter Willcox, a Greenpeace veteran and resident of Norwalk, Connecticut. 

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G20 Summit
8:17 am
Sun November 16, 2014

G20 Leaders Pledge Growth, Threaten More Sanctions On Russia

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, President Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameron and other leaders at the G20 summit in Brisbane, Australia.
Kay Nietfeld DPA/Landov

Originally published on Sun November 16, 2014 2:17 pm

President Obama departed the venue of the annual G20 summit in Australia today, declaring it had been a "strong week for American leadership."

The gathering wrapped up by promising to fight climate change and work toward boosting economic growth even as leaders made it clear that new sanctions would be imposed on Russia if Moscow doesn't back down in Eastern Ukraine.

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Ukraine
7:01 am
Mon October 27, 2014

Pro-Western Parties Sweep Ukraine's Parliamentary Elections

People cast their ballots at a polling station during Ukrainian parliamentary elections in Kiev on Sunday.
Ivan Vakolenko UPI/Landov

Originally published on Mon October 27, 2014 11:34 am

Elections in Ukraine are pointing to a new parliament that will be dominated by pro-Western parties, a result that President Petro Poroshenko is hailing as a "course toward Europe" but one that is likely to further anger Russia.

NPR's Corey Flintoff reports from Kiev that exit polls show the bloc supporting Porsohenko is projected to win about 23 percent of the vote, followed closely by an allied party, the People's Front, with around 21 percent.

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Energy
1:10 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

As Oil Prices Fall, Who Wins And Who Loses?

Saudi Arabia's oil minister, Ali Al-Naimi, shown in Kuwait last month, has played down the drop in oil prices. The country continues to pump oil at high levels, saying it wants to preserve its market share. But this has also contributed to a 25 percent drop in oil prices since June.
Yasser Al-Zayyat AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 16, 2014 2:47 pm

With oil around $85 a barrel and tumbling to its lowest levels in several years, here's the upside: Gasoline prices are down, the U.S. is feeling less dependent on foreign crude, and serious economic pressure is growing on oil producers such as Iran and Russia.

Here's the downside: The low demand for oil reflects a fragile global economy that's vulnerable to additional shocks, like falling stock markets around the world.

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Technology
6:41 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

Microsoft Windows Flaw Let Russian Hackers Spy On NATO, Report Says

Microsoft says it's patching a Windows security flaw cited in a report on alleged spying by Russian hackers.
Ted S. Warren AP

A group of hackers, allegedly from Russia, found a fundamental flaw in Microsoft Windows and exploited it to spy on Western governments, NATO, European energy companies and an academic organization in the United States.

That's according to new research from iSight Partners, a Dallas-based cybersecurity firm.

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World
7:04 am
Tue September 9, 2014

Dutch Investigators: MH17 Brought Down By 'High-Energy Objects'

A pro-Russian rebel touches MH17 wreckage at the crash site of the Malaysian airliner near the village of Hrabove, eastern Ukraine, in July.
Vadim Ghirda AP

Originally published on Tue September 9, 2014 3:29 pm

An initial investigation by Dutch experts appears to support the long-held theory of what happened to MH17 over eastern Ukraine: The Malaysian airliner was brought down by multiple "high-energy objects from outside the aircraft."

Although the preliminary technical report by the Dutch Safety Board did not directly say the objects were surface-to-air missiles, it left little room to conclude otherwise.

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Europe
10:47 am
Mon September 8, 2014

Russia Reports Troop Deaths In Ukraine, But Calls Them 'Volunteers'

Mothers and wives of Russian paratroopers captured in Ukraine wait for information outside their base in Kostroma, Russia. Russia's military has been challenged to explain an upsurge in dead and missing soldiers from its elite units.
Dmitry Serebryakov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 8, 2014 12:31 pm

Ukraine and the West, including the United States, insist that the Russian army has been fighting in eastern Ukraine, a charge that Russia just as vehemently denies.

But reports from Russia now acknowledge that Russian soldiers are part of the battle — though they are claimed to be volunteers, on leave from their army jobs.

Critics say the Russian military is ordering soldiers into the fight, and covering up the deaths of those who are killed, in an unacknowledged war on foreign soil.

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Eastern Europe
9:58 am
Fri September 5, 2014

In Ukraine, Cease-Fire Between Government, Separatists Takes Hold

Pro-Russian separatists stand on a road in the village of Novokaterinovka, eastern Ukraine, on Thursday.
Anatolii Boiko AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 5, 2014 1:43 pm

This post was updated at 1 p.m. ET.

The government of Ukraine and pro-Russian separatists in the east say they have stopped fighting, honoring a cease-fire that took effect late Friday afternoon local time.

NPR's Corey Flintoff tells our Newscast unit that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko ordered a cease-fire once separatists agreed to peace talks at a meeting in Belarus.

During a televised press conference, Poroshenko said the peace deal was forged based on a phone conversation he had with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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Eastern Europe
3:01 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

Can NATO Find A Way To Contain Russia?

Pro-Russian rebels prepare their weapons in the eastern city of Donetsk on Aug. 31. Russia's role in Ukraine has raised tensions between Russia and NATO to their highest level since the Soviet breakup more than two decades ago.
Mstislav Chernov AP

Originally published on Wed September 3, 2014 3:44 pm

Ever since the Cold War ended, the armies of NATO and Russia have been moving warily toward each other while their political positions keep moving further apart.

Twelve Eastern European countries have joined NATO since the Soviet breakup, and NATO is now on the verge of creating a rapid-reaction force for the region. Russia has sent troops into two former Soviet republics, Ukraine and Georgia, that have relationships with NATO, but not membership.

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Europe
7:40 am
Wed September 3, 2014

Russia, Ukraine Distance Themselves From News Of A Cease-Fire Deal

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko (left) welcomes Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjorn Jagland during a meeting Monday.
Mykhailo Markiv AP

Originally published on Wed September 3, 2014 1:01 pm

The morning started on a hopeful note: The office of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said that in a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the two had agreed on a "permanent cease-fire."

But that was short-lived. As the state-funded Russia Today reports, the Russians quickly pointed out that they had reached no such agreement, because "Russia is not party to Ukraine conflict."

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Eastern Europe
8:31 am
Tue September 2, 2014

NATO To Create New 'Spearhead' Force For Eastern Europe

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen on Monday.
Yves Logghe AP

Originally published on Tue September 2, 2014 7:12 am

NATO leaders are expected to set up a rapid-response force to deploy quickly to eastern Europe to defend against potential Russian aggression at their meeting in Wales later this week.

The force of about 4,000 troops will be ready to move on 48 hours notice from a station in a member country close to Russia, The New York Times reported.

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Ukraine
9:38 am
Mon September 1, 2014

Pro-Russia Rebels Say They Will Settle For Autonomy In Ukraine

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called Monday for a cease-fire in Ukraine, but demanded that Ukrainian troops leave positions from which they can "harm the civilian population." His comments come ahead of talks in Minsk, Belarus, involving Ukraine, Russia, Russia-backed separatists and international monitors.
Jia Yuchen Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Mon September 1, 2014 4:45 pm

Update at 3:21 p.m. ET

Pro-Russia rebels in Ukraine are no longer demanding full independence, telling negotiators in Belarus that they will respect Ukraine's sovereignty in exchange for autonomy.

The Associated Press adds:

"It's a shift that reflects Moscow's desire to strike a deal at a new round of peace talks — possibly avoiding tougher Western sanctions. The talks follow last week's meeting between the presidents of Russia and Ukraine. Similar talks earlier this summer produced no visible results."

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Ukraine/Russia Conflict
2:05 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

White House Says "Continuation," Murphy Says "War"

Sen. Chris Murphy on WNPR's Where We Live in December, 2013.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

As the conflict between Ukraine and Russia continues to escalate, Democratic U.S. Senator Chris Murphy wants to call it what it is: a war.

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Ukraine
7:53 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Ukrainian Prime Minister Says Government Will Seek NATO Membership

A pro-Russian rebel walks in a passage at a local market damaged by shelling in Petrovskiy district in the eastern Ukrainian town of Donetsk.
Mstislav Chernov AP

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 1:17 pm

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk says his government has sent parliament a bill that allows Ukraine to open a path toward membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

"The main and only goal of Ukraine's foreign policy is to join the European Union," Yatsenyuk said in a statement.

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Ukraine
5:13 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Obama Blames Russia For Violence In Ukraine; Calls Moves 'Incursion'

President Obama said at a White House news conference Thursday that Russia is to blame for the violence in eastern Ukraine.
Larry Downing Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 10:26 am

Updated at 4:47 p.m.

President Obama blamed Russia for the violence in Ukraine and said its "incursion" into the former Soviet state will only carry additional costs.

"Russia has deliberately and repeatedly violated the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, and the new images of Russian forces inside Ukraine make that plain for the world to see," Obama said at a White House news conference on Thursday.

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Ukraine
12:55 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Russian Convoy Crosses Ukraine Border Despite Kiev's Protests

A Russian border guard opens a gate into Ukraine for the first trucks from the Russian town of Donetsk, Rostov-on-Don region, on Friday. The convoy had been stalled near the border for more than a week.
Sergei Grits AP

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 4:59 pm

Update at 5:00 p.m. ET

After being halted at the border for more than a week, a Russian aid convoy is rumbling into eastern Ukraine without permission, prompting Kiev to label the move a "direct invasion" of sovereign territory.

Karoun Demirjian, reporting for NPR from Moscow, says 150 Russian trucks arrived in the rebel-held city of Luhansk on Friday.

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Ukraine
3:36 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

Ukraine Forces Near Rebel City As Russia Escalates Border Exercises

A woman removes debris from a cafe that was destroyed during fighting between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian militants Aug. 5 in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slavyansk, in the region of Donetsk.
Anatolii Stepanov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 5, 2014 5:29 pm

Russia and Ukraine are holding large military exercises along their shared border as the Ukrainian military claims to be closing in on rebel strongholds in Donetsk and Luhansk, NPR's Karoun Demirjian reports from Moscow.

Government troops and separatists have been fighting for months for control of eastern Ukraine, Karoun says, and Ukrainian leaders say Russia has been supplying the separatists with weapons and strategic assistance — a charge Moscow denies.

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Ukraine
3:34 pm
Sat July 26, 2014

Ukrainian Troops Said Poised To Retake Rebel-Held Donetsk

Dutch and Australian investigators along with members of the OSCE mission in Ukraine examine pieces of the crashed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in the village of Petropavlivka, Donetsk region, in eastern Ukraine on Friday.
Dmitry Lovetsky AP

Ukrainian forces were reportedly advancing on rebel positions near the key eastern town of Donetsk on Saturday, as they try to retake the separatist stronghold.

Donetsk is the region where Malaysia Airlines MH17 was shot down on July 17, killing nearly 300 people. Pro-Russian rebels have been blamed for downing the plane and they have hampered international efforts to access the site of the wreckage.

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Russian Forces
3:20 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

U.S.: Russia-Based Artillery Targeting Ukrainian Troops

Ukrainian troops camouflage their multiple rocket launcher at a checkpoint in Kryva Luka, in eastern Ukraine, earlier this month. The U.S. says Russia is planning to provide similar systems to the rebels.
Evgeniy Maloletka AP

The U.S. says it has "new evidence" that Russian forces have been firing artillery across the border to attack Ukrainian military positions, and that Moscow is planning to ship powerful rocket artillery to the rebels it backs in the country's east.

"We have new evidence that the Russians intend to deliver heavier and more powerful multiple rocket launchers to the separatist forces in Ukraine, and have evidence that Russia is firing artillery from within Russia to attack Ukrainian military positions," State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said during a daily briefing.

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Flight MH17
8:12 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Train Carrying MH17 Victims' Remains Arrives In Government-Controlled City

Police officers secure a refrigerated train loaded with bodies of the passengers of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 as it arrives in a Kharkiv factory on Tuesday.
Olga Ivashchenko AP

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 9:03 am

A refrigerated train carrying the remains of the people who died aboard the downed Malaysia Airlines plane arrived in Kharkiv, Ukraine, on Tuesday. That's a city controlled by the central government in Kiev and 17 hours away from the chaos of Hrabove, the eastern city controlled by pro-Russian separatists, where the debris and remains were scattered.

The New York Times sets the scene:

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Flight MH17
5:18 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Flight MH17: Black Boxes And Bodies Handed Over; U.N. Calls For Inquiry

A pro-Russian rebel talks on a phone as a refrigerated train loaded with the bodies of victims from Flight MH17 leaves the station in Torez, eastern Ukraine, about 9 miles from the crash site of the Malaysia Airlines jetliner.
Vadim Ghirda AP

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 7:50 pm

This post was last updated at 7:10 p.m. ET.

Pro-Russian separatists have given what they say are Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17's data recorders to Malaysian officials in Donetsk, the city in eastern Ukraine that has been the militants' stronghold.

Along with the release of victims' bodies hours earlier, the transfer of the black boxes fulfills part of a deal Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said he had reached with the rebels Monday.

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Russian Sanctions
4:18 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Murphy: Europe Should Impose a "Crippling Round of Sanctions" Against Russia

Murphy told CNN's Carol Costello that the crash of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 "is Russia's fault."
Credit WNPR

On Monday at the White House, President Obama urged Russian President Vladmir Putin to order Russian separatists in Ukraine to allow international investigators unfettered access to the crash site of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17. 

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Flight MH17
10:54 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Obama Urges Putin to Push for Unhindered Probe of Plane Crash Site in Ukraine

President Barack Obama talks on the phone aboard Air Force One with President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine about the Malaysia Airlines plane crash in eastern Ukraine on July 17.
Credit Pete Souza / White House

President Barack Obama spoke about the downed plane in eastern Ukraine from the White House Monday morning. He called for international investigators to have "immediate and full access" to the site where a passenger jet was shot down last week.

U.S. officials have been seeking to build a case that the plane was shot down by pro-Russian separatists.

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Flight MH17
8:18 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Putin: Tragedies Like MH17 Should 'Bring People Together'

Deputy head of the OSCE mission to Ukraine Alexander Hug (center right) stands outside a refrigerated train as members of the Netherlands' National Forensic Investigations Team inspect bodies.
Vadim Ghirda AP

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 2:57 pm

(This post was updated at 12:51 p.m. ET.)

Russian President Vladimir Putin says tragedies such as the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 last week should "bring people together" rather than "dividing us."

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Flight MH17
7:40 am
Sun July 20, 2014

Kerry: Evidence Points Clearly To Rebels Shooting Down MH17

Members of the Ukrainian Emergencies Ministry work at a crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, near the village of Hrabove, Donetsk, on Sunday.
Maxim Zmeyev Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 4:29 pm

Updated at 4:25 p.m. ET.

In the most emphatic U.S. statement to date on culpability for the downing of a Malaysian airliner over Eastern Ukraine that killed 298 people, Secretary of State John Kerry says evidence overwhelmingly points to Russian-backed separatists.

In an interview with CNN, he says that U.S. intelligence, as well as social media put out by the rebels, "obviously points a very clear finger at the separatists.

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Russia
3:50 pm
Sat July 19, 2014

Kremlin Blacklists 13 Americans In Tit-For-Tat Over U.S. Sanctions

Retiring Virginia Reps. Jim Moran (center) and Frank Wolf talk as congressmen leave the House of Representatives in April. Moran's name appears on on a Russian visa blacklist issued on Saturday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Sat July 19, 2014 6:36 pm

Updated at 2:55 p.m. ET.

Moscow has issued a quid pro quo for sanctions imposed on it by Washington, banning a U.S. congressman and 12 other Americans from entering Russia.

NPR's Hansi Lo Wang reports that the Foreign Ministry in Moscow says the new blacklist is in response to U.S. visa restrictions on Russian citizens in the wake of Moscow's annexation of Crimea and its continuing support for separatists in eastern Ukraine.

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Flight MH17
2:27 pm
Sat July 19, 2014

Ukraine Accuses Rebels Of Destroying Evidence At MH17 Crash Site

With pro-Russian separatists standing guard, investigators from the OSCE arrive at the crash site of the Malaysia Airline jet near the village of Hrabove in Eastern Ukraine on Friday.
Dmitry Lovetsky AP

Originally published on Sat July 19, 2014 11:45 pm

Updated at 4:35 p.m. ET.

International investigators say armed rebels have limited their inspection of the Eastern Ukraine site of the downed Malaysian Airlines flight that killed nearly 300 passengers and crew, as Kiev accused pro-Russian separatists of destroying evidence at the scene.

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Flight MH17
12:50 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Obama: Evidence MH17 Hit By Missile From Rebel-Held Area Of Ukraine

A firefighter douses the smoldering wreckage of Flight MH17 on Thursday.
Alexander Khudoteply AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat July 19, 2014 2:24 am

This post was updated at 5:00 p.m. ET.

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White House
11:36 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Obama Calls for a Ceasefire in Ukraine

President Barack Obama speaking to the press last year.
White House

President Barack Obama said one American was killed on a downed plane in Ukraine on Thursday, and that the airliner was shot down by a surface-to-air missile in an area controlled by Russian-backed separatists. He called for an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine, where he said heavily armed and trained separatists receive Russian support.

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Ukraine
6:40 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

U.S. Officials: Malaysian Airliner Likely Shot Down

A woman at Kuala Lumpur International Airport reacts to news of crash. The flight was on its way to the Malaysian capital.
Samsul Said Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 12:31 pm

This post was last updated at 6:40 p.m. ET.

A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 with 298 passengers and crew aboard has crashed in eastern Ukraine in an area of the country that has been wracked by a separatist insurgency.

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