Vladimir Putin and Petro Poroshenko shook hands as talks between the Eurasian Customs Union, EU and Ukraine began in Minsk. The crisis in eastern Ukraine is likely to dominate the agenda, with Poroshenko calling on the forum to accept his peace plan.
A journalist released from the ANNA news agency, who was captured along with RT contributor Graham Phillips, told RT that they were abducted by the Ukrainian army and tortured and beaten. Phillips’ fate remains unknown.
President Vladimir Putin has proposed that the upper house call off the March 1 resolution allowing the head of state to use the armed forces on the territory of Ukraine, said presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov.
Ukrainian Prime Minster Arseny Yatsenyuk has ordered Energy and Coal ministries, regional governments, and Naftogaz to get ready for Russian gas supplies to be cut starting Monday, the cabinet’s website said.
In order to alleviate energy dependence on Moscow, the coup-imposed government in Kiev has resurrected a contract with a US company to supply fuel to Ukraine’s nuclear power plants. Using US fuel rods was banned in 2012 due to dangerous incompatibility.
Ukrainian police stopped a group of armed men from entering Europe's largest nuclear power plant, located in southeastern Ukraine. In video footage allegedly showing the attempted break-in, the men say they are members of the Right Sector group.
Ukrainian armed forces have opened fire on journalists from Russia’s LifeNews working near the city of Kramatorsk, eastern Ukraine, where fighting broke out between self-defense forces and Kiev’s army.
Kiev’s forces are using heavy weaponry and tanks in the eastern city of Mariupol to storm the local Interior Ministry building, where police have barricaded inside. After residents began flocking to the scene, Kiev fighters opened fire on civilians.
Sixty-seven anti-government activists detained by police in the south Ukrainian city of Odessa have been released after a crowd of locals blocked the Interior Ministry building. Those released reportedly included survivors from the deadly May-2 fire.
Over 20 Russia journalists have been denied access to Ukraine in recent weeks on the grounds that they do not have sufficient funds to enter, according to Ukrainian authorities. The move has caused outrage from both the CPJ and Moscow.
President Putin has highlighted the success of Russia's internal security service in counter-intelligence. Speaking at the FSB executive council he said that fighting extremism is the agency's top priority.