Russia

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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Ukraine
9:30 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Ukraine Says Russia Shot Down One Of Its Warplanes

A Sukhoi Su-25 single-seat, twin-engine jet aircraft with Russian markings. A similar Ukrainian jet was reportedly shot down late Wednesday.
Syritsa Mikhail ITAR-TASS/Landov

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 10:25 am

This post updated at 10:15 a.m. ET.

A Ukrainian government spokesman says one of its warplanes was shot down in the country's east by a Russian air force jet, as the U.S. and Europe stepped up sanctions on Moscow over its support of separatist rebels.

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White House
5:46 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

U.S. Sanctions Major Russian Banks And Energy Companies

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk visits forces stationed near the small city of Izyum on Wednesday.
Sergey Bobok AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 8:18 am

President Obama outlined a new package of sanctions against Russian firms and individuals on Wednesday.

"These sanctions are significant but also targeted," Obama said. "Russia will see that its actions in Ukraine have consequences."

The administration targeted large banks, as well as energy and defense firms. The sanctions stopped short of covering entire sectors of the Russian economy.

Obama said they were designed to inflict pain on Russia without harming U.S. companies or the nation's allies.

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End of the World?
11:58 am
Wed July 16, 2014

A Huge New Crater Is Found In Siberia, And The Theories Fly

Aerial footage posted online shows a large crater in northern Siberia, in an area called "the end of the world."
YouTube

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 12:46 pm

The area of Russia is said to be called, ominously enough, the end of the world. And that's where researchers are headed this week, to investigate a large crater whose appearance reportedly caught scientists by surprise. The crater is estimated at 262 feet wide and is in the northern Siberian area of Yamal.

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Ukraine
7:31 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Reports Of New Fighting Rattle Ukraine's Truce As Kerry Urges Russia To Help

A man who lives in Ukraine's Donetsk region shows part of a shell that exploded in the yard of his house Wednesday, after a reported mortar attack by Ukrainian government forces Tuesday. The area is under a tense cease-fire that will expire Friday.
Dmitry Lovetsky AP

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 5:50 pm

An exchange of mortar fire has been reported in eastern Ukraine, where government troops and pro-Russian separatist forces had been observing an uneasy cease-fire in the past week. The news comes as Secretary of State John Kerry says Russia could face sanctions if it doesn't help end the violence.

Russian state news media are reporting explosions near the airport in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk, where the armed groups reportedly absorbed and returned mortar fire. Similar clashes were reported earlier this week.

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Military Readiness
8:43 am
Tue June 3, 2014

Obama Seeks $1 Billion To Boost U.S. Military Presence In Europe

President Obama and Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk at a meeting in Warsaw, Poland, on Tuesday.
Radek Pietruszka EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Tue June 3, 2014 6:45 pm

President Obama said today [Tuesday] that he wants to boost the U.S. military presence in Europe amid simmering tensions with Russia over its actions in Ukraine.

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Ukraine
10:22 am
Thu May 29, 2014

Downed Ukraine Helicopter Had General On Board; 14 Die In Attack

Black smoke rises from the spot where a Ukrainian army helicopter was shot down outside Slovyansk, Ukraine, on Thursday. Rebels shot the craft down amid heavy fighting around the eastern city.
Alexander Zemlianichenko AP

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 3:16 pm

Militants in Ukraine shot down a military helicopter near the eastern city of Slovyansk Wednesday, killing 14 soldiers that included an Army general. The incident comes days after Ukraine stepped up its operations against pro-Russian rebels this week.

From Kiev, NPR's Peter Kenyon reports for our Newscast unit:

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Ukraine
7:52 am
Tue May 27, 2014

Ukraine Retakes Airport, After Airstrikes And Dozens Of Deaths

A pro-Russian fighter takes position behind a car as a truck full of rebel fighters heads toward a battle with Ukrainian forces near the airport in Donetsk Monday. The rebels say more than 30 of their number were killed in the violence.
Fabio Bucciarelli AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 7:52 am

Pro-Russian rebels who had taken over an international airport in Donetsk have been pushed back, Ukraine's government says. Violent clashes erupted Monday and Tuesday; at least 35 people have died.

From Kiev, NPR's Peter Kenyon reports for our Newscast unit:

"The battle for Donetsk airport appears to symbolize the government's tougher stance on the pro-Russian insurgents in the east. Using fighter jets and helicopter gunships, the military says it has retaken control of the airport, though rebels dispute that claim.

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Ukraine
8:34 am
Thu May 22, 2014

Ukrainian Soldiers Killed In Attack By Separatists

Ukrainian soldiers inspect the site of a gunfight near the village of Blahodatne in eastern Ukraine Thursday. At least 11 Ukrainian troops were killed and about 30 others were wounded when Pro-Russians attacked a military checkpoint.
Ivan Sekretarev AP

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 2:44 pm

Pro-Russian separatists attacked a military checkpoint in eastern Ukraine on Thursday, killing at least 13 soldiers and wounding about 30, according to Ukraine's acting prime minister. The country is preparing to hold national elections on Sunday.

A separatist commander told The Associated Press that one of his men also died.

The attack took place near the village of Blahodatne in Donetsk, one of two main areas in eastern Ukraine where separatists say they want to break away from the country and its interim government.

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Ukraine Crisis
5:25 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Former Ambassador To Russia: Putin Has No Master Plan For Ukraine

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, second right, speaks with U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul during a walk in Moscow's Red Square in May 2013.
Mladen Antonov AP

Originally published on Thu May 15, 2014 8:02 pm

When Russian President Vladimir Putin started vilifying the U.S., and state-controlled media took his cue, Michael McFaul was portrayed as one of the American villains. McFaul was the American ambassador to Russia from January 2012 to February of this year. He planned to leave just after the Sochi Olympics, which ended up coinciding with the Ukrainian Parliament voting to remove President Viktor Yanukovych from office, leading to Russia's annexation of Crimea.

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Ukraine Crisis
3:49 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Russia's Energy Giant Turns Up The Heat On Ukraine

A monument to Ukrainian writer Taras Shevchenko is silhouetted against a sign advertising Russia's natural gas giant Gazprom in Moscow. Gazprom has dramatically increased the price it charges Ukraine in recent months.
Alexander Zemlianichenko AP

Originally published on Wed May 14, 2014 7:59 pm

If Russia was aiming to target one of Ukraine's vulnerabilities, natural gas would be the bull's-eye. Ukraine gets about 60 percent of its gas from Russia.

Clifford Gaddy, a Russia specialist at the Brookings Institution, says as the dispute between the two countries grows, Moscow is more willing to use natural gas as a weapon.

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Ukraine
7:56 am
Mon May 12, 2014

Separatists Vote To Split From Ukraine; Russia 'Respects' Decision

In the eastern Ukrainian city of Lugansk, the "chairman of the Central Election Commission" Alexander Malykhin shows a document with the results of a referendum outside the regional state administration building Monday. He said voters had chosen to leave Ukraine.
Dimitar Dilkoff AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 7:01 pm

A referendum on independence from Ukraine shows strong support for secession, according to separatist leaders in the districts where Sunday's vote was held. Kiev and Western governments say the vote is illegitimate.

Russia, which has been accused of orchestrating the unrest in eastern Ukraine, says it "respects the expression of will of the population of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions." But the Kremlin's statement also called for dialogue with Kiev, not violence.

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Iron Will
7:34 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Russia Shows Off Military In Red Square Victory Day Parade

Russian soldiers march in Moscow's Red Square during Friday's Victory Day parade, a show of military might amid tensions in Ukraine following Moscow's annexation of Crimea.
Kirill Kudryavtsev AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 9, 2014 10:08 am

It's a day for patriots in Russia, where the country is celebrating Victory Day to commemorate the World War II defeat of Nazi Germany. A parade of troops, tanks and missile launchers made its way through Red Square to mark the occasion.

"It is a holiday when an overwhelming force of patriotism triumphs, when all of us feel particularly acutely what it means to be loyal to the motherland and how important it is to defend its interests," President Vladimir Putin said.

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Ukraine Crisis
10:38 am
Sun May 4, 2014

Ukraine: Pro-Russia Crowd Surrounds Police Station In Odessa

Participants at a rally attack a police station in Odessa as they demand the release of people arrested after recent street battles between pro-Russian and pro-Ukrainian supporters in the Black Sea port city.
Gleb Garanich Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Sun May 4, 2014 4:50 pm

Urging the release of separatists detained during Friday's unrest that left dozens dead, more than 100 pro-Russia activists surrounded a police station in the southern Ukrainian port city of Odessa Sunday.

Update at 4:30 p.m. ET: More Activists Released

Police in Odessa say 67 pro-Russia activists were freed Sunday.

CNN quotes the Ukrainian Interior Ministry's website:

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Ukraine Crisis
5:19 pm
Sat May 3, 2014

Russia Condemns Ukraine With Comparisons To Nazis

Ukrainian soldiers stand at a checkpoint they seized Friday morning in the eastern Ukrainian village of Andreevka. The Russian government has referred to Ukraine's interim government and other Ukrainian groups as "fascists" and "neo-Nazis."
Vasily Maximov AFP/Getty Images

The Ukrainian government is describing its offensive against pro-Russian separatists in the eastern part of the country as an "anti-terrorist operation," language that offends the separatists and Russia.

In turn, Russia is using even stronger language, saying that the Ukrainian military has launched a "punitive operation." While that may not carry any special meaning to Western ears, it has far more sinister implications for Russians.

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Ukraine Crisis
7:21 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

Blaze In Odessa Kills 31, Marking Escalation In Ukraine Crisis

Trashed items smolder amid debris at a square following clashes in Odessa, Ukraine, on Friday.
Sergei Poliakov AP

Originally published on Fri May 2, 2014 7:47 pm

The situation in Ukraine escalated further on Friday: First, as we reported, Ukraine launched a military operation against separatists in the east, and then a fire in a building in the Black Sea port of Odessa killed 31 people.

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White House
7:17 am
Mon April 28, 2014

U.S. Announces New Sanctions On Russia Over Ukraine Unrest

President Obama speaks during a joint news conference with Philippine President Benigno Aquino III at Malacanang Palace in Manila, Philippines, on Monday. Obama said the U.S. and EU were planning new economic sanctions against Russia.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Mon April 28, 2014 5:09 pm

Update at 9 a.m. ET:

The White House announced sanctions Monday against seven top Russian officials with links to President Vladimir Putin, including freezing their assets and banning them from obtaining U.S. visas. It also threatened to impose more economic sanctions on key sectors of Russia's economy if there is evidence of further Kremlin involvement in the unrest in eastern Ukraine.

The Associated Press reports:

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Ukraine Crisis
7:03 am
Fri April 25, 2014

Russia Wants To Start World War III, Ukrainian Leader Charges

On guard: a Ukrainian soldier at a roadblock near Slovyansk, in eastern Ukraine.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 25, 2014 7:52 pm

The crisis in Ukraine showed no signs of cooling Friday. Harsh rhetoric was flying:

-- "Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk accused Russia on Friday of wanting to start World War III by occupying Ukraine 'militarily and politically,' " Reuters reports.

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Ukraine Crisis
10:34 am
Sun April 20, 2014

Ukraine: Deadly Gunfight Rattles Easter Truce

A local resident inspects burnt-out cars after a night gunfight at a checkpoint under control of pro-Russian militants in the village of Bulbasika near Slovyansk Sunday.
Efrem Lukatsky AP

Originally published on Sun April 20, 2014 5:04 pm

A shootout at a checkpoint killed at least two people in eastern Ukraine Sunday, according to multiple reports. The violence comes on the heels of an agreement between Ukraine, Russia and the West that calls for armed groups to disband; that pact led officials to announce a truce for this Easter weekend.

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Crimea
9:38 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Ukraine Crisis: Russia Endorses Call For Protesters To Disarm

Armed men wearing military fatigues gathered on armored personnel carriers Wednesday in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slovyansk, where they and other pro-Russia gunmen took control of some key locations.
Genya Savilov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 9:04 am

This post was updated with a new top at 4:10 p.m. ET.

Diplomats from the U.S., Ukraine, Russia and the European Union emerged Thursday from a meeting that wasn't expected to accomplish much saying they had made progress toward resolving the crisis in Ukraine.

"We worked hard and we worked in good faith in order to narrow our real differences," Secretary of State John Kerry said following the meeting in Geneva. He and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced that the four parties at the negotiating table agreed:

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Ukraine Crisis
12:02 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Ukrainian Military Says It Is Moving Against Pro-Russia Protesters

One of the pro-Russia protesters who have taken over the police headquarters in Slovyansk, Ukraine, watched from the barricades on Tuesday. Ukrainian authorities said special forces were beginning an operation against the demonstrators.
Gleb Garanich Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 2:26 pm

Ukraine's acting president says his nation's military has begun "an anti-terrorist operation" aimed at pushing armed pro-Russia demonstrators out of the government buildings in eastern Ukraine that they have occupied for several days.

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Ukraine Crisis
1:33 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Russian Attack Jet Repeatedly Overflies U.S. Warship In Black Sea

The USS Donald Cook, a guided-missile destroyer, on patrol Saturday in the Black Sea.
Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Edward Guttierrez III U.S. Navy

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 3:07 pm

The crisis in Ukraine has taken on even more of a Cold War-era feel after a Russian warplane made nearly a dozen low passes over the weekend of a U.S. destroyer that was sailing in the Black Sea.

Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, calls the Russian flybys "provocative and unprofessional," NPR's Tom Bowman reports.

According to the Pentagon, the Russian SU-24 attack aircraft came within several thousand feet of the USS Donald Cook on Saturday and ignored multiple radio warnings from the ship.

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Ukraine Crisis
8:05 am
Sun April 13, 2014

Ukraine Says An Officer Died In Battle With Pro-Russian Forces

A Pro-Russian force guards a barricade outside a regional police building seized by armed men in Slovyansk Sunday. Ukraine, which launched an "anti-terrorist operation" in the eastern town, says one of its officers has been killed in a clash near the town.
Genya Savilov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun April 13, 2014 12:13 pm

A Ukrainian Security Service officer has been killed and five others wounded in the eastern city of Slovyansk, officials from Ukraine's interim government said Sunday. The casualty comes after Ukraine pledged a "very tough" response to those occupying government buildings.

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Alaska, Too?
3:47 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Not An April Fools' Joke: Russians Petition To Get Alaska Back

Russians in Moscow's Red Square hold banners reading, "Love You Crimea!" "Together For All Time" and "Obama, Think About Alaska!" during a March 18 rally celebrating the annexation of Crimea.
Sergei Ilnitsky EPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 4:35 pm

President Vladimir Putin's annexation of Crimea is reigniting talk in Russia of taking back Alaska from the United States, which purchased the territory from a czar for $7.2 million nearly a century and a half ago.

Most of the talk is tongue-in-cheek, but it comes at a time of heightened sensitivity in the West over whether Russia is planning further incursions or land grabs.

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White House
8:25 am
Tue March 25, 2014

Obama: Russia Making 'Series Of Calculations' After Crimea

President Obama, accompanied by Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, speaks during their joint news conference at the conclusion of the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague on Tuesday.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 2:27 pm

(This post was updated at 11:30 a.m. ET.)

President Obama on Tuesday said that he believed that Russia was "still making a series of calculations" regarding any further moves after its annexation of Crimea, but that there was no expectation of dislodging it by force from the Black Sea peninsula.

"What we can bring to bear are the legal arguments, the diplomatic arguments," he said at a joint news conference with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte following a nuclear security summit in The Hague.

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Kiev or Kyiv?
9:24 am
Mon March 24, 2014

How Do You Pronounce the Capital of Ukraine?

Credit Vladimir Yaitskiy / Creative Commons

With the situation in Ukraine as bad as it is, semantics are not high on the list of priorities. But it's something that inevitably comes up for journalists when we discuss names and locations in other parts of the world.

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy was on WNPR's Where We Live to talk about his recent trip to Ukraine's capital of Kiev, or Kyiv (more on that later).

Murphy pronounces the name of this city as "Keev."

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Crimea
7:17 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Ukraine Orders Its Troops Out Of Crimea As G-7 Meets On Crisis

President Obama tours the Rijksmusuem with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte (left) and others ahead of the G-7 summit in The Hague, Netherlands, which is certain to focus on the situation in Crimea.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 1:12 pm

Ukraine announced the pullout of its troops from Crimea after Russia annexed the Black Sea peninsula and took control of the military bases there. The decision comes as President Obama arrived in the Netherlands on Monday for a summit of the G-7 group of industrialized nations that is certain to focus on discussion of the international crisis.

Ukrainian President Oleksandr Turchynov said Monday that the Defense Ministry has been ordered to redeploy Ukrainian servicemen from the Crimea to Ukraine's mainland, in remarks confirmed by his office.

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Ukraine Crisis
6:28 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Murphy: Sanctions Could Have "Catastrophic Effects for the Russian Economy"

President Barack Obama announces additional sanctions against Russia during a statement on the south lawn of the White House.
Credit White House / YouTube Screenshot

President Barack Obama expanded economic sanctions against Russia in response to its actions in Ukraine, with further sanctions on top officials of the Russian government.

"In addition, we are today sanctioning a number of other individuals with substantial resources and influence who provide material support to the Russian leadership, as well as a bank that provides material support to these individuals," said Obama in a statement on the south lawn of the White House.

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White House
11:58 am
Thu March 20, 2014

U.S. To Impose Sanctions On More Russian Officials

President Obama on the south lawn of the White House Thursday as he spoke about new sanctions on some Russian officials.
Kevin Dietsch UPI/Landov

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 9:23 pm

More senior Russian officials are being added to the list of those who the U.S. will seek to penalize for their nation's interference in Ukraine's affairs, President Obama announced Thursday morning.

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