Edward Snowden, the former U.S. security contractor living under asylum in Russia, made a surprise appearance on Russian television to ask President Vladimir Putin if the nation spies on its citizens like the U.S.
Ukrainian forces killed three pro- Russian militants after an attack on a national guard base in the country’s east as the U.S. and its European allies sat down with Ukraine and Russia to discuss the crisis.
Top diplomats from Ukraine and Russia will meet today for the first time since clashes erupted in Ukraine’s restive east, accompanied by U.S. and European Union counterparts poised to impose new sanctions if talks fail.
Angela Merkel wasn’t in a hurry to inflict economic pain on Russia. Cautious, pragmatic and mindful of German business ties to the country, the chancellor tried to defuse the Ukraine crisis through back-channel diplomacy and frequent phone calls with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Russia said it’s making headway with the U.S. and the European Union in resolving the dispute in Ukraine after presidents Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama spoke and the two countries’ top diplomats prepared for more talks.
President Vladimir Putin, condemned by NATO for annexing Crimea, is now defying the U.S. in Syria by sending more and deadlier arms to help Bashar al-Assad score a string of advances against insurgents, military experts say.
Western leaders are counting on the threat of wide-ranging sanctions to make Vladimir Putin pause for breath after swallowing Crimea. If they can’t, the Russian president may opt to move deeper into Ukraine.