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March 4, 2014 | By Paul Richter
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration's plans to impose punitive economic sanctions on Russia - potentially its strongest response to Moscow's military intervention in Ukraine - already are facing resistance from administration allies in Congress and Europe. Although administration officials say they are prepared to freeze assets of top Russian officials and possibly target state-run financial institutions, European allies - who are heavily dependent on Russian oil and gas supplies - signaled they aren't ready to follow suit.
March 4, 2014 | By Carol J. Williams
KIEV, Ukraine - As thousands of Russian and Ukrainian troops stare each other down in Ukraine's strategic Crimean peninsula, the worlds-apart views from Moscow and Washington over the dangerous faceoff suggested Tuesday that a resolution was far from imminent. At the same time, signs emerged from the Kremlin and Kiev that both sides were wary of escalating the crisis, in which one nervous reaction could spark a shooting war. U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry, during a visit Tuesday to the Ukrainian capital, accused Russia of gun-barrel diplomacy and brutish behavior more befitting the war-racked 19th century.
February 28, 2014 | By Sergei L. Loiko and Carol J. Williams
KIEV, Ukraine - Authorities closed airspace over Ukraine's Crimean peninsula and at least five Russian transport planes landed at a military air strip near the regional capital late Friday, as the country's acting president accused Moscow of trying to seize territory. A duty officer at the Simferopol airport said that all commercial takeoffs and landings had been canceled from the Crimean regional capital's airport for at least 24 hours. In Kiev, Oxana Ozhigova , a spokeswoman for the Ukrainian capital's Borispol airport, confirmed that flights to and from Simferopol had been suspended.
February 26, 2014 | By Sergei L. Loiko
KIEV, Ukraine --Clashes in Ukraine on Wednesday between demonstrators supporting Russian involvement in the Crimea region and those opposed left one person dead of an apparent heart attack and many others injured, officials said. The violence in Simferopol, the capital of Crimea in southern Ukraine, came as thousands of members of the Tatar ethnic minority rallying in support of Ukraine's interim government clashed with demonstrators who favor Russian influence on the area. The opposing sides gathered outside the parliament building in Simferopol.
February 25, 2014 | By Carol J. Williams, This post has been updated and corrected. See the notes below for details.
MOSCOW -- Ukraine's acting president said Tuesday that it would be at least two more days before an interim government is in place as further negotiations are needed to ensure that a genuine “coalition of national faith” agrees to see the divided country through to May 25 elections. Interim President Olexander Turchynov made the announcement to the parliament now dominated by opposition figures and defected members of fugitive ex-President Viktor Yanukovich's Party of Regions.
February 23, 2014 | By Carol J. Williams
MOSCOW - Russia will withhold further loans and aid to Ukraine in the wake of the tumultuous leadership changes underway in the former Soviet republic until it becomes clear who will be in charge in the new interim government, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said Sunday. Siluanov also said Moscow believes Ukraine should turn to the International Monetary Fund for help averting bankruptcy and reforming its corrupt and massively indebted budget, a signal that the Kremlin may be unwilling to further extend loans and subsidies to a nation now under the sway of pro-Western opposition figures.
February 6, 2014 | By Fiona Hill and Steven Pifer
Vladimir Putin has been on his best behavior as the Sochi Olympic Games approach. He has granted amnesty to prisoners and political opponents, downplayed Russia's anti-gay law, lifted a blanket prohibition on demonstrations at Sochi and acted the welcoming host. The Olympics are a showcase for Russia and for him personally. He wants nothing to spoil the Games. The Sochi Olympics will come and go, and the less kind, less gentle Putin will be back. He is likely to turn attention to Russia's neighbors that drew closer to the European Union last year - to punish them and to try to drag them back into Moscow's fold.
February 3, 2014 | By Sergei L. Loiko, This post has been updated and corrected. See the notes below for details.
MOSCOW -- A 15-year-old student at a Moscow high school fatally shot a teacher and a police officer and held a class of 29 hostage Monday until he was persuaded by his father to release his captives and turn himself in, officials said. "According to our information, his grades were excellent and most likely it was some kind of an emotional breakdown," said Vladimir Markin, a spokesman for Russia's Investigative Committee.  Officials said Gordeyev entered the school early in the afternoon armed with a shotgun and ordered a school guard to let him in. He then proceeded to the room where his geography class was held, officials said.
February 2, 2014 | By Chris Reynolds
THE BEST WAY TO MOSCOW From LAX, Aeroflot offers nonstop service to Moscow, and KLM, Lufthansa, Air France, Delta, Swiss, Turkish and British offer connecting service (change of planes). Restricted round-trip fares range from $965 to $1,655, including fees and taxes. To arrange my stay and guide, I used tour operator Distant Horizons, 350 Elm Ave., Long Beach; (562) 983-8828, . Hotel Metropol , 2 Teatralny Proezd, Moscow; 011-7-499-501-7800, . Doubles from about $250 a night.
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