Russia

World War Two veterans attend a congratulatory ceremony on the eve of the Victory Day in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine May 8, 2014. Ukraine, along with Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) states, celebrates victory over Nazi Germany on May 9.

Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters

Second world war veterans attend a ceremony on the eve of Victory Day in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine. Ukraine, along with the Commonwealth of Independent States, celebrates victory over Nazi Germany on Friday.

Pro-Russian supporters demonstrate in front of Ukrainian policemen guarding the entrance of a state city building in Mariupol on May 7, 2014.

Genya Savilov/AFP

Pro-Russian supporters demonstrate in front of Ukrainian police officers guarding the entrance of a state city building in Mariupol, Ukraine

Russian servicemen walk in formation as they take part in a rehearsal for the Victory Day military parade during a snowfall in central Moscow...Russian servicemen walk in formation as they take part in a rehearsal for the Victory Day military parade during a snowfall in central Moscow, May 7, 2014. Russia celebrates victory over Nazi Germany on May 9. REUTERS/Artur Bainozarov (RUSSIA -

Artur Bainozarov/Reuters

Russian servicemen take part in a rehearsal for the Victory Day military parade during a snowfall in central Moscow. Russia celebrates victory over Nazi Germany on May 9 Read more

Ukrainian soldiers stay near of a checkpoint seized by them not far of Slaviansk, Ukraine, 02 May 2014. At least three people were killed and several were injured in clashes between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatists in the eastern city of Sloviansk early on 02 May. The Ukraininan Defence Ministry said that two crew members were killed and an unspecified number of soldiers were injured after separatists shot down two Mi-24 assault helicopters with surface-to-air missiles. A third, Mi-8 transport helicopter, was hit by bullets but escaped unharmed, the ministry said. 'Putin has called such an operation a criminal action. Sadly the latest developments fully support that,' says Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman, and has practically destroyed the last hope for a diplomatic solution to the crisis.

Roman Pilipey/EPA

Ukrainian soldiers near the checkpoint they seized outside Slavyansk, eastern Ukraine, on Friday. At least three people were killed and several were injured in clashes between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russia separatists in Slavyansk.

REUTERS PICTURE HIGHLIGHT...ATTENTION EDITORS - REUTERS PICTURE HIGHLIGHT TRANSMITTED BY 1345GMT ON APRIL 22, 2014    BAZ015  A pair of bride and groom poses for photos in front of barricades set up outside a regional government building seized by pro-Russian armed men in Kramatorsk, eastern Ukraine. REUTERS/Baz Ratner      REUTERS NEWS PICTURES HAS NOW MADE IT EASIER TO FIND THE BEST PHOTOS FROM THE MOST IMPORTANT STORIES AND TOP STANDALONES EACH DAY. Search for "TPX" in the IPTC Supplemental Category field or "IMAGES OF THE DAY" in the Caption field and you will find a selection of 80-100 of our daily Top Pictures.

Baz Ratner/Reuters

Newlyweds outside a regional government building seized by pro-Russian armed men in Kramatorsk, eastern Ukraine Read more

Pro-Russian activists warm themselves at a bonfire next to barricades in front of an entrance to the Ukrainian regional office of the Security Service in Luhansk, 30 kilometers (20 miles) west of the Russian border, in Ukraine, Friday, April 11, 2014. Ukraine s prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk on Friday told leaders in the country s restive east that he is committed to allowing regions to have more powers. Yatsenyuk told the meeting, which did not include representatives of the separatists, that more authority should be delegated to regional authorities.

Igor Golovniov/AP

Pro-Russian activists warm themselves next to barricades at a regional office of the security service in Luhansk, Ukraine, 20 miles west of the Russian border, on Friday.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin (L) listens to explanations and looks at an exhibit as he visits the Cosmonautics Memorial Museum in Moscow, Russia, 11 April 2014.

Sergei Karpukhin/EPA

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin visits the Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics in Moscow. On Saturday, Russia celebrates Cosmonautics day which marks Yuri Gagarin’s pioneering flight into space.

Ukrainians remove a barricade near Independence Square in Kiev, Ukraine, 10 April 2014. Pro-Russian protesters continued to hold seized Ukrainian administrative buildings in Donetsk and Lugansk, which were occupied by them some days ago.

Sergey Dolzhenko/EPA

Ukrainians remove a barricade near Independence Square in Kiev, Ukraine on Thursday

TOPSHOTS Soldiers of the Presidential Re...TOPSHOTS Soldiers of the Presidential Regiment march during the Change of Guard ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Moscow, on April 9, 2014. AFP PHOTO / KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEVKIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images

Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP

Soldiers of the Presidential Regiment march during the Change of Guard ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Moscow Read more

Pro-Russian activists guard a barricade set at the Ukrainian regional Security Service building on the eastern city of Donetsk on Monday. Ukraine's embattled prime minister today accused Russia of trying to "dismember" his country by plotting seizures of government buildings in eastern regions that are seeking to break away from Kiev.

Alexander Khudoteply/AFP

Pro-Russian activists guard a barricade set at the Ukrainian regional Security Service building on the eastern city of Donetsk on Monday. Ukraine’s embattled prime minister today accused Russia of trying to “dismember” his country by plotting seizures of government buildings in eastern regions that are seeking to break away from Kiev.