President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on Wednesday that makes it easier for those living in eastern Ukraine's separatist territories to access a Russian passport. The move is seen as a challenge to Volodymyr Zelensky, the former comedian elected president this weekend. In a Facebook post, Mr Zelensky's team labelled Russia "an aggressor state which wages war against Ukraine". Mr Putin said there was "nothing unusual" about the passport offer."It's strange that this provokes a negative reaction," he said on Thursday.What Zelensky saidThe Zelensky team said earlier that through the decree Russia had "acknowledged its responsibility as an occupier state". "This decree is not bringing us closer to achieving the ultimate goal: a ceasefire," it said. It called on the international community to provide "diplomatic pressure and the pressure of sanctions". The decree is aimed at people living in the unrecognised, self-styled republics of Donetsk and Luhansk, seized by Russian-backed … [Read more...] about Russia offers passports to people in eastern Ukraine territories
Russia annexed this ukrainian peninsula in 2014
High heels, tiny bikinis, stunning postures – all desperate to catch the eye of the contest’s judges and VIP guests. But this isn’t a typical beauty pageant. The women are from former Soviet Union countries, and on Saturday, are competing for the title “Miss USSR UK”. We’ll tell you what’s true. You can form your own view. From 15p €0.18 $0.18 USD 0.27 a day, more exclusives, analysis and extras. Subscribe now Some have travelled to London from abroad for the contest, others are based in Britain. The USSR Empire may have collapsed 28 years ago – but in London, the idea feelsthe alive and carefully preserved. “Miss USSR” was held in Moscow for three years before the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. Its successor, “Miss USSR UK” has run in London for seven years. The contest is now growing – in 2018, the same competition took place in Monaco, and according to the organisers, is … [Read more...] about Controversial Miss USSR pageant in London slammed for ‘serious lack of historical awareness’
THE Crimea peninsula was annexed from Ukraine by Russia in February-March 2014. The annexation was accompanied by a military intervention by Russia that took place in the wake of the 2014 Ukranian revolution. What does annexing mean? To annex means to attach, append or add usually to something larger. The term is used to describe attaching, joining or uniting in a physical sense.In this case it is the addition of an area to a country. Therefore the region of Crimea became part of Russia. Why did Russia annex Crimea? The conflict in 2014 was the worst crisis in East-West relations since the Cold War which escalated after Ukraine’s pro-Kremlin president Viktor Yanukovych was driven from power after violent protests.Forces backed by Moscow, seized control of the Crimea, which has a Russian-speaking majority, and the people voted to join Russia in a referendum which was deemed illegal by Ukraine and the West. The region has been hotly-contested for centuries with Russia annexing … [Read more...] about Why did Russia annex Crimea and what happened on the Kerch strait?
The wind whips across a narrow, sandy strait, carrying the salty smell of the Sea of Azov. Ukrainians stand in line, sometimes for hours, at the makeshift checkpoint separating mainland Ukraine from Russian-annexed Crimea. One by one, they hand their passports to the border guards, who work out of an open shipping crate-turned-border-post. “I’ve stood here in February with my 8-year-old son for two hours in slush and ice that was ankle deep,” said Anna Sikorskaya, 31, who fled Crimea two years ago for the Ukrainian capital, Kiev. She arrived at the Chonhar border crossing one day late last year after a 13-hour train ride from Kiev. She was traveling to see her parents in Simferopol, the Crimean capital. Before the Kremlin annexed the Crimean peninsula in March 2014, entering was as easy as crossing a state line. Today, it’s an arduous journey across a 2.7-mile border strip that can take half a day. While few countries and no major international … [Read more...] about Four years after Russia annexed Crimea, the peninsula remains in limbo
London (CNN)Ukrainians haven't had much to cheer about in recent years. There has been conflict, misery, uncertainty. But as one of the country's most successful sports stars, Elina Svitolina hopes she can provide some joy during the bleakest of times. "Politics is always going to be there and, constantly, every day, you hear bad news. That's very tough, especially for kids and for the future. That's why I try to do the best I can," the tennis player tells CNN Sport. The 24-year-old world No.4 is back in London, home for the last few years, reflecting on a recent trip to her homeland where she received a hero's welcome after winning one of tennis' biggest prizes, the season-ending WTA Finals. One of the most consistent players on the Tour during the last two seasons, Svitolina concluded 2018 with the biggest title of her career. Victory over former US Open champion Sloane Stephens in the Singapore final also ensured she became the first Ukrainian to win the prestigious tournament. … [Read more...] about Elina Svitolina: Tennis star wants to inspire Ukrainians during ‘very tough’ times