Russian Communist party supporters, holding the flag of the self-proclaimed People’s Republic of Donetsk, and portrait of former Soviet leaders Joseph Stalin and Vladimir Lenin, take part in a rally to mark Defender of the Fatherland Day in Moscow, on Monday. Defender of the Fatherland Day, celebrated in Russia, honours the nation’s military and is a nationwide holiday
A member of the Ukrainian armed forces smokes as he sits at a military vehicle near Artemivsk, eastern Ukraine. Ukraine’s military said on Monday two of its soldiers had been killed and 10 wounded in the past 24 hours, signalling that fighting has not stopped to allow a truce deal to be implemented
A Russia-backed rebel holds a heavy machine-gun in Debaltseve, Ukraine on Friday. After weeks of relentless fighting, the embattled Ukrainian rail hub of Debaltseve fell Wednesday to Russia-backed separatists, who hoisted a flag in triumph over the town
A pro-Russian rebel takes a ribbon from his arm in Debaltseve, eastern Ukraine on Thursday. The ribbons are used as a form of identification. After weeks of relentless fighting, the embattled Ukrainian rail hub of Debaltseve fell Wednesday to Russia-backed separatists, who hoisted a flag in triumph over the town
Ukrainian troops ride on a tank as they leave Debaltseve, eastern Ukraine on Wednesday
Journalists wait outside the meeting room in Minsk, Belarus as Ukrainian peace talks dragged on into a second day
A pro-Russian rebel checks a destroyed bus in Donetsk. Shelling hit a central bus station in Donetsk on Wednesday and killed at least four people
Ralph Orlowski /Reuters
A papier mache figure for carnival floats depicting Russian President Vladimir Putin is pictured during preparations for the upcoming Rose Monday carnival parade in Mainz on Tuesday
Employee Dmitry Kudryavtsev selects a film to work on at the “Krasnoyarsky Kinograph” (Krasnoyarsk Cinemagraph) state regional cinema fund in the Russian Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk. The fund stores feature, documentary, newsreel films and other footage taken since the beginning of the 20th century, which were examined, reconditioned and sorted by employees. Many collections, including the ones featuring periods of history of Russia and Siberia, are of great value, according to the representatives of the fund.
Swans on a lake near the village of Urozhainy, in the Sovetsky district of the Altai region of Russia. The air temperature is minus 35 degrees Celsius. The swans migrate annually to the lake, which is heated by warm springs, where they spend the winter.
Relatives of Alexander Demyanenko, a victim of Saturday’s shelling, stand near a grave during funerals in Mariupol, Ukraine, on Monday. At least 5,100 people have been killed in eastern Ukraine since fighting began in April, but violence this week was the most intense since a cease-fire deal was signed in September
Local people inspect the site of an explosion near a bus stop in downtown Donetsk, Ukraine. At least nine people were killed and nine injured early on Thursday, pro-Russian separatists said.
Ukrainian servicemen are seen near a billboard with social advertising in central Kiev. Ukraine’s parliament voted on Thursday to refresh its front-line forces and resume partial conscription after a top security official warned that Russian forces backing separatist rebels had sharply increased military activity in the east
Seagulls flock over a rubbish dump in the Crimean city of Sevastopol.
People walk out of the cool waters of the Black Sea, as winter swimmers gather on a beach on the Orthodox Christmas day in the Crimean port of Yevpatoriya on Wednesday
Russian Cossacks in traditional uniform guard the territory outside the Kazan Cathedral, where an Orthodox Christmas service is held under a heavy snowfall in Stavropol, southern Russia
A pro-Russian rebel holds a toy gun in Donetsk, the disputed region in Ukraine, on Thursday
Russian currency dropped to 100 roubles to the euro on Tuesday, after Russia’s central bank made a surprise move on Monday night to raise interest rates to 17%
A pro-Russian-separatist patrols the street in front of Russian humanitarian trucks in Makiivka (Makeyevka) in Donetsk region on Friday
A man stands next to his house, which was destroyed on Monday night by shelling in the Kuibishevskiy district of the eastern Ukraine city of Donetsk , controlled by pro-Russian fighters.