russia

A pro-Russian rebel holds a toy gun in Donetsk December 18, 2014.

Maxim Shemetov/Reuters

A pro-Russian rebel holds a toy gun in Donetsk, the disputed region in Ukraine, on Thursday

Central Bank of the Russian Federation

Anatoly Maltsev/EPA

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, December 12, 2014. According to Russian media, over 50 trucks arrived in Donetsk while another 80 trucks arrived in Luhansk

Maxim Shemetov/Reuters

A pro-Russian-separatist patrols the street in front of Russian humanitarian trucks in Makiivka (Makeyevka) in Donetsk region on Friday

Miners return from their shift at the Kalinina coal mine in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk, controlled by pro-Russian rebels on December 1, 2014. Official statistics shows the country needs a million tonnes of anthracite coal per month to feed its power stations. By November 24, only 1.8 million tonnes were left in the reserves. Russia announced it was stopping coal supplies to Ukraine last week, claiming "force majeure" but offering no explanation.

Eric Feferberg/AFP

Miners return from their shift at the Kalinina coal mine in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk, controlled by pro-Russian rebels on Monday

Military honour guard stand outside the main building of the new Presidential Palace complex after a welcome ceremony for Russian President Vladimir Putin in Ankara, Turkey, Monday, Dec. 1, 2014. Putin arrived in Turkey for a one-day visit and met with Erdogan at his huge new palace on once-protected farm land and forest in Ankara, becoming the second foreign dignitary after the Pope Francis to be hosted at the lavish, 1000-room complex.

Burhan Ozbilici/AP

Military honour guard stand outside the main building of the new Presidential Palace complex after a welcome ceremony for Russian President Vladimir Putin in Ankara, Turkey. Putin arrived in Turkey for a one-day visit and met with Erdogan at his huge new palace on once-protected farm land and forest in Ankara on Monday

A woman walks in heavy snowfall in the far eastern Russian city of Vladivostok, December 1, 2014.

Yuri Maltsev/Reuters

A woman walks in heavy snowfall in the far eastern Russian city of Vladivostok on Monday

An aerial view of a 30-meter wide sinkhole that has appeared 3.5 kilometers east of the Uralkali Solikamsk-2 potash mine in the Perm region, Russia.

Uralkali/EPA

An aerial view of a 30m wide sinkhole that has appeared 3.5km east of the Uralkali Solikamsk-2 potash mine in Russia’s Perm region

Ground personnel work on November 10, 20...Ground personnel work on November 10, 2014 next to the Soyuz TMA-13M capsule, carrying International Space Station (ISS) crew members of Alexander Gerst of Germany, Maxim Surayev of Russia and Reid Wiseman of the United States, after its landing near the town of Arkalyk in northern Kazakhstan. A veteran Russian cosmonaut and two International Space Station crewmates, one from the United States and one from Germany, returned safely to Earth on November 10 with a parachute landing of their Soyuz capsule in Kazakhstan, ending 5,5 months in orbit.    AFP PHOTO / POOL / SHAMIL ZHUMATOVSHAMIL ZHUMATOV/AFP/Getty Images

Shamil Zhumatov/AFP/Getty

Ground personnel work on the Soyuz TMA-13M capsule, carrying International Space Station crew members Alexander Gerst of Germany, Maxim Surayev of Russia and Reid Wiseman of the US, after its landing near the town of Arkalyk in northern Kazakhstan. 

A woman carries a portrait of Lenin as she walks with the Communist Party members and supporters to place flowers at the Tomb of Soviet founder Vladimir Lenin, at Moscow's Red Square on Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014 to mark the anniversary of the Nov. 7, 1917 Bolshevik revolution, which is no longer a public holiday in Russia

Pavel Golovkin/AP

A woman carries a portrait of Lenin as she walks with the Communist Party members and supporters to place flowers at the Tomb of Soviet founder Vladimir Lenin, at Moscow’s Red Square on Thursday to mark the anniversary of the 1917 Bolshevik revolution

People of pro-government groups, with Russian flags, dance marching through downtown Moscow to mark People s Unity Day, a public holiday, in Russia, on Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014.

Ivan Sekretarev/AP

People of pro-government groups, with Russian flags, dance marching through downtown Moscow to mark People’s Unity Day, a public holiday, in Russia, on Tuesday

Mechanic and welder Sergei Kulagin tests the "Alien Samurai", an electro-mechanical mobile robot, outside an automobile repair workshop in the town of Divnogorsk...Mechanic and welder Sergei Kulagin, 32, tests the "Alien Samurai", an electro-mechanical mobile robot made by Kulagin using used car components, outside an automobile repair workshop in the town of Divnogorsk outside Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, October 15, 2014. Enthusiast Kulagin, who works as a mechanic of an automobile service station, created about twenty sculptures made of used car parts and components during his non-working hours.

Ilya Naymushin/Reuters

Mechanic and welder Sergei Kulagin, 32, of Divnogorsk, Siberia, tests the Alien Samurai, an electro-mechanical mobile robot he made from used car components

Ferrari Formula One mechanics push the car of Kimi Raikkonen of Finland during the first free practice session of the Russian F1 Grand Prix in the Sochi Autodrom circuit.

Laszlo Balogh/Reuters

Ferrari Formula One mechanics push the car of Kimi Raikkonen of Finland during the first free practice session of the Russian F1 Grand Prix in the Sochi Autodrom circuit.

A pro-Russian separatist fires an automatic grenade launcher from his position during fighting with Ukrainian government forces near the Sergey Prokofiev International Airport in Donetsk...A pro-Russian separatist fires an automatic grenade launcher from his position during fighting with Ukrainian government forces near the Sergey Prokofiev International Airport in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, October 9, 2014.

Shamil Zhumatov/Reuters

A pro-Russian separatist fires an automatic grenade launcher from his position during fighting with Ukrainian government forces near the Sergey Prokofiev International Airport in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine

A woman and a child pass graffiti bearing a message against the military conflict in the eastern regions of Ukraine, in Russia's far eastern city of Vladivostok, October 8, 2014. The graffiti reads, "No to war in Ukraine".

Yuri Maltsev/`Reuters

A mother and child pass graffiti in Russia’s far-eastern city of Vladivostok that bears a message against the conflict in the eastern regions of Ukraine. The graffiti reads: “No to war in Ukraine”.

Fishermen row a boat loaded with mullet near the fishing farm in the Crimean village of Olenivka. Russian wheat has made a surprise early exit from key global export markets, despite the country's near-record crop, after domestic prices rose in the fall-out from the Ukraine crisis. Moscow in early August imposed a one-year ban on all meat, fish, dairy, fruit and vegetables from the United States, the 28 European Union countries, Canada, Australia and Norway.

Pavel Rebrov/Reuters

Fishermen row a boat loaded with mullet near the fishing farm in the Crimean village of Olenivka. Russian wheat has made a surprise early exit from key global export markets, despite the country’s near-record crop, after domestic prices rose in the fall-out from the Ukraine crisis

Angry farmers dump cauliflowers in front of the prefecture building of Saint-Brieuc, northwestern France, as riot policemen onwatch, on September 24, 2014, as part of a protest against falling prices and revenues, as the vegetable sector is being hit by a drop in prices, and by a Russian embargo on Western products due to the crisis in Ukraine.  AFP PHOTO / FRED TANNEAU

Fred Tanneau/AFP

Angry farmers dump cauliflowers in front of the prefecture building of Saint-Brieuc, northwestern France, as riot police look on. The farmers are protesting against falling prices and revenues, as the vegetable sector is being hit by price drops, and by a Russian embargo on western products.

A Ukrainian serviceman rides on an armoured vehicle near the eastern Ukrainian town of Debaltseve, September 23, 2014.

David Mdzinarishvili/Reuters

A Ukrainian serviceman rides on an armoured vehicle near the eastern Ukrainian town of Debaltseve

A man takes a photo of the Soyuz TMA-14M spacecraft as it is lifted to its launch pad at Baikonur cosmodrome...A man takes a photo of the Soyuz TMA-14M spacecraft as it is lifted to its launch pad at Baikonur cosmodrome September 23, 2014. The Soyuz is scheduled to carry Barry Wilmore of the U.S., Elena Serova and Alexander Samokutyaev of Russia to the International Space Station on September 26. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov (KAZAKHSTAN - Tags: SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY)

Shamil Zhumatov/Reuters

A man takes a photo of the Soyuz TMA-14M spacecraft as it is lifted to its launch pad at Baikonur cosmodrome. The Soyuz is scheduled to carry Barry Wilmore of the US, Elena Serova and Alexander Samokutyaev of Russia to the International Space Station on Friday 

A woman embraces her friend, a volunteer of Ukrainian self-defence battalion "Azov", after he returned from the front line in Eastern regions of Ukraine, in Kiev...A woman embraces her friend, a volunteer of Ukrainian self-defence battalion "Azov", after he returned from the front line in Eastern regions of Ukraine, in Kiev September 15, 2014.

Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters

A woman embraces her friend, a volunteer of Ukrainian self-defence battalion “Azov”, after he returned from the front line in Eastern regions of Ukraine, in Kiev on Monday

A Ukrainian serviceman is seen in a military camp in Volnovaha town, some 60 km from Donetsk, Ukraine, 11 September 2014. New EU sanctions against Russia are to come into effect on 12 September, but will be reviewed in light of progress following a ceasefire deal in eastern Ukraine, the EU said on 11 September. The agreement signed in Minsk, Belarus on 05 September between the Ukrainian government and pro-Russian separatists includes a ceasefire, a special political status for separatist-controlled areas and a prisoner exchange. The ceasefire was largely holding, although the government in Kiev again accused the separatists of violations.

Roman Pilipey/EPA

A Ukrainian serviceman is seen in a military camp in Volnovaha town, some 60 km from Donetsk, Ukraine. New EU sanctions against Russia are to come into effect on Friday