russia

A Pro-Russian militant kisses members of his family who leave for Russia

Dominique Faget/AFP/Getty Images

A Pro-Russian militant kisses members of his family who leave for Russia on in Donetsk. EU leaders meet on Wednesday to decide on new sanctions against Russia and pro-Moscow separatists in east Ukraine as Kiev raises fears of an imminent invasion by thousands of Russian troops.

Rescue workers remove debris at a collapsed apartment after an airstrike  in Snizhne, 100 kms east from the city of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine Tuesday, July 15, 2014. An airstrike demolished an apartment block in eastern Ukraine on Tuesday, killing at least nine civilians, rescue workers said. The attack adds to the steadily growing number of civilians killed over four months in a dogged pro-Russian insurgency. Government officials denied the Tuesday strike was carried out by Ukraine's air force.

Dmitry Lovetsky/AP

Rescue workers remove debris at a collapsed apartment after an air strike in Snizhne, 100 km east from the city of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine. An air strike demolished an apartment block in eastern Ukraine on Tuesday, killing at least nine civilians.

Residents of the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine sit on a bus destined for Rostov-on-Don in Russia

Maxim Zmeyev/Reuters

Residents of eastern Ukraine look out of the window of a bus destined for Rostov-on-Don in Russia from a collection point in Donetsk, on Monday

A boy plays with a ball at a temporary tent camp set up for Ukrainian refugees in the town of Novoshakhtinsk in Rostov region near the Russian-Ukrainian border, southern Russia, July 9, 2014.

Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters

A boy plays with a ball at a temporary tent camp set up for Ukrainian refugees in the town of Novoshakhtinsk in Rostov near the Russian-Ukrainian border, southern Russia

Russian sailors arrive aboard the Smolni...Russian sailors arrive aboard the Smolniy on June 30, 2014 in Saint-Nazaire, western France. 400 Russian sailors will be trained on the Vladivostok warship, a Mistral class LHD amphibious vessel ordered by Russia to the STX France shipyard. The Vladivostok warship is one of the two navy ships ordered to France by the Russian army:  AFP PHOTO / JEAN-SEBASTIEN EVRARDJEAN-SEBASTIEN EVRARD/AFP/Getty Images

Jean Sebastien Evrard/AFP/Getty

Russian sailors arrive aboard the Smolniy in Saint-Nazaire, western France. About 400 Russian sailors will be trained on the Vladivostok warship, a Mistral class vessel being built at the STX France shipyard. The Vladivostok is one of two ships ordered from France by Russia’s navy. 

People take part in a mass prayer for peace in downtown Kiev on June 19, 2014. Ukraine's new Western-backed president announced plans on JUne 18 to order a unilateral ceasefire in the separatist east that could help end a bloody pro-Russian insurgency and avert his ex-Soviet country's breakup.

Genya Savilov/AFP

People take part in a mass prayer for peace in downtown Kiev on Thursday

Viktor hold his granddaughter Alissa as they wait for a bus to leave Slaviansk...Viktor, 68, hold his 11-month-old granddaughter Alissa as they wait for a bus to leave the eastern Ukranian city of Slaviansk June 17, 2014. Residents flee Slaviansk, the pro-Russian separatist stronghold, what faced with ongoing shortages, utility outages and frequent artillery fire. Ukraine's president said on Monday he had ordered troops to regain control of the frontier with Russia to pave the way for a truce and peace talks after weeks of fighting with pro-Russian separatists. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov

Shamil Zhumatov/Reuters

Viktor, 68, and his 11-month-old granddaughter Alissa wait for a bus to leave the eastern Ukranian city of Slavyansk. Residents are fleeing Slavyansk, the pro-Russian separatist stronghold that faces ongoing shortages, utility outages and frequent artillery fire. The presidents of Russia and Ukraine on Tuesday discussed the possibility of a ceasefire in the insurgency-torn eastern regions of Ukraine, in a sign that dialogue is continuing in spite of worsening violence in the conflict.

Pro-Russian separatists of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic remove the state coat of arms of Ukraine from a gate of the regional administration building, in Luhansk

Shamil Zhumatov/Reuters

Pro-Russia separatists of the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic remove the state coat of arms of Ukraine from a gate of the regional administration building, in the eastern Ukrainian city

A woman rides her bike near famous "Druzhba narodov" ("Friendship of nations") fountain at the VDNKh, a public park and exhibition space, in Moscow, on June 4, 2014. The temperatures in the Russian capital reached today 29 C (84 F).

Dmitry Serebryakov/AFP

A woman rides her bike near the famous Druzhba narodov (“Friendship of nations”) fountain at the VDNKh, a public park and exhibition space in Moscow, on Wednesday. The temperatures in the Russian capital reached 29 degrees

Employees of the Derate pest control company ride on a chair lift at the Bobrovy Log resort area in Taiga outside Russia's Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk...Employees of the Derate pest control company ride on a chair lift at the Bobrovy Log resort area in Taiga outside Russia's Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, June 3, 2014.

Ilya Naymushin/Reuters

Employees of the Derate pest control company ride on a chair lift at the Bobrovy Log resort near the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, Russia

The Soyuz-FG rocket booster with Soyuz TMA-13M space ship carrying a new crew to the International Space Station, ISS, flies in the sky at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Thursday, May 29, 2014. Circular star tracks around the Polar Star and track of the rocket a the result of the long time exposure. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

Dmitry Lovetsky/AP

The Soyuz TMA-13M space ship launches atop the Soyuz-FG rocket booster at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, carrying a new crew to the International Space Station. Circular star tracks around the Polar Star and track of the rocket are the result of long time exposure 

President Putin on official visit to China

Mikhail Metzel

President Xi Jinping of China and Russia’s Vladimir Putin at the fourth summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia. An eleventh-hour agreement was made to import gas to China.

Employees of a food stand take pictures of Titan, a robot created by England Cyberstein Robots, performing at the Danilovsly market in downtown of Moscow, Russia, 12 May 2014. Titan visited to Moscow to attend Bal Rotov, an interactive exhibition of the most recent advances in robotics which will be opened on 15 May in Artplay Moscow exhibition center. Titan worked alongside superstars including Will.i.am, Rihanna, Will Smith and Jackie Chan.

Sergei Ilnitsky/EPA

Titan, a robot created by England’s Cyberstein Robots, walks through Danilovsky market in downtown Moscow, Russia. 

Crisis in Ukraine...epa04198165 People stand near the burning Mariupol police station, Ukraine, 09 May 2014. Two eastern Ukrainian provinces will go ahead with a referendum on seceding from the country as planned this weekend despite Russian President Vladimir Putin's call for a delay, separatist leaders told Russia's Interfax news agency on 08 May. 'The referendum on May 11 will take place,' said Miroslav Rudenko, a separatist leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic. The secession referendum will let the three million residents of the provinces of Luhansk and Donetsk vote on whether they want to stay part of Ukraine. Ukrainians opposed to a split see it as a precursor to an eventual merger with Russia, as happened with Crimea in March.  EPA/ALEXEY FURMAN

Alexey Furman/EPA

People stand near the burning Mariupol police station, Ukraine. Two eastern Ukrainian provinces will go ahead with a referendum on seceding from the country this weekend despite Russian president Vladimir Putin’s call for a delay, separatist leaders told Russia’s Interfax news agency on May 8 

Vladimir Putin attends a military parade in Moscow

Yuri Kochetkovy/EPA

Russian military servicemen march in Red Square, Moscow, during a military parade marking the 69th anniversary of victory over Nazi Germany during the second world war

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 

Pro Russian activists take cover behind their shields while storming the prosecutor building, after a pro Russia demonstration during International Worker's Day in Donestsk, Ukraine, Thursday, May 1, 2014. Anti-government demonstrators in Donetsk have stormed the local prosecutor's office. The clash came after a march by several hundred people carrying flags of the Donetsk People's Republic, a movement that seeks either greater autonomy from the central government, or independence and possible annexation by Russia.

Manu Brabo/AP

Pro-Russia activists take cover behind their shields while storming the prosecutor’s office in Donetsk, after demonstration during International Worker’s Day in Ukraine

Ukrainian soldiers walk in the field near Kramatorsk...Ukrainian soldiers walk in the field near Kramatorsk, in eastern Ukraine April 16, 2014. Ukrainian forces tightened their grip on the eastern town of Kramatorsk on Wednesday after securing control over an airfield from pro-Russian separatist militiamen, prompting Russian President Vladimir Putin to warn of the risk of civil war.  REUTERS/Marko Djurica (UKRAINE - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST MILITARY)

Marko Djurica/Reuters

Ukrainian soldiers walk in the field near Kramatorsk, in eastern Ukraine. Ukrainian forces tightened their grip on the eastern town of Kramatorsk on Wednesday after securing control over an airfield from pro-Russian separatist militiamen, prompting Russian President Vladimir Putin to warn of the risk of civil war. 

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.

Soviet military veterans take part in the flower laying ceremony at the Soviet-era World War II memorial in the Crimean port of Sevastopol.

Olga Maltseva/AFP/Getty Images

Military veterans take part in the flower-laying ceremony at the Soviet-era second world war memorial in Sevastopol, Crimea. Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the departing Nato chief, on Friday said Russian accusations that Nato was violating “red lines” in their bilateral post-cold war agreements were false.