Russian Government Pushes to Eliminate Civil Society Groups

Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s effort to eliminate one of the country’s oldest human rights organizations is the latest indication that the authoritarian leader has revived many Soviet-era practices to crush civil society and tighten his grip on power, including persecuting dissidents and disseminating anti-Western propaganda.

Putin Warns U.S. Spat Over Ukraine Threatens Global Stability

Russian President Vladimir Putin

MOSCOW (Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin warned Washington that a spat between nuclear powers over the Ukraine crisis could threaten global stability and said in remarks published on Wednesday that Russia would not be “blackmailed” by sanctions.

Russia Signs Deals with China to Help Weather Sanctions

Russia's Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev (R) shakes hands with China's Premier Li Keqiang during a signing ceremony in Moscow

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia and China signed energy, trade and finance agreements on Monday proclaimed by Moscow as proof that a policy turn to Asia is bearing fruit and will help it to weather Western sanctions over the Ukraine crisis.

Meanwhile, in Ukraine

Russian "rebels" fire conduct peaceful mortar fire to celebrate the success of the Russian-brokered ceasefire. (AP)

At least 331 people have died since the signing of a “truce” between Ukraine and the Russian-backed militants waging war in the eastern part of the country. The United Nations says fighting has continued “on an almost daily basis.” The airport in Donetsk, a crucial transportation hub, has been flattened by shelling. According to the Ukrainian ambassador to the United States, at least 3,000 Russian troops remain in the country.