All of the participants of the contact group on the Ukraine crisis – OSCE representatives, Kiev, Moscow, and the Donbass region – have met in Minsk. No new agreements have been reached, with the meeting ending in a blame game between Kiev and the rebels.
NATO is expected to station additional soldiers in six member states in Eastern Europe as part of its new anti-Russian strategy. The units would be small, but involved in possible deployment of the alliance’s future ‘rapid response’ force.
US Treasury has revised sanctions regime in Russia’s Crimea, allowing residents of the peninsula to operate US bank accounts. Crimeans will also be able to send and receive non-commercial personal money transfers.
One of Russia's largest academic libraries, which contains millions of unique historic documents, has gone up in flames in Moscow. A part of the building’s roof collapsed before dozens of fire fighters managed to contain the blaze.
Svetlana Davydova from western Russia has been detained on charges of high treason. A criminal case has been launched against the woman, who allegedly informed the Ukrainian embassy of the possibility of Russian troops being sent to Ukraine.
The Ukraine army’s chief of staff has admitted that Kiev troops are not engaged in combat with Russian units, thereby thwarting all Western allegations of Moscow's “military invasion,” said Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov.
Russia aims to maintain its military advantage, prioritize the rearmament of its nuclear deterrence forces and refit up to 100 percent of its military hardware by 2020. In 2015 Russia will start testing its successor to the “Satan” heavy nuclear missile.
Anti-Russian sanctions are imposed as a hard neo-conservative lobby in America puts pressure on some European countries to go along with these sanctions, and to persuade other countries to do the same, journalist Neil Clark, told RT.
Greece will inevitably get a debt haircut as it’s not able to cope with the €240 billion bailout loan given by the EU, said Hugh Bronson from the Alternative for Germany party. No national structure is able to cope with that amount of debt, he added.
Two Russian journalists working for Life News TV channel have been detained in Kiev by Ukraine’s Security Service, which says the crew will be expelled from the country and denied entry for five years.
The UK Foreign Office summoned the Russian ambassador on Thursday afternoon to lodge a complaint about the flight of Russian military jets over the English Channel, which authorities claim posed a danger to passenger aircraft.