Addressing the Ukrainian parliament on December 8, the U.S. Vice President said, "The United States will never recognize" Russia's annexation of Crimea. He urged legislators to adopt reforms and separate their private interests from their official responsibilities.
In a protest outside the parliament building in Kyiv, several hundred supporters of Ukraine’s nationalist Svoboda party and other demonstrators accused the prime minister of corruption and failure to enact reforms. (Ukrainian Service)
Khodorkovsky may not look like much of a threat from his exile in Europe, but Putin’s instinct, when he feels threatened, is to lash out at any opponent, real or imagined.
Imprisoned human rights defender Leyla Yunus was released from custody on December 9 because of failing health. She and husband Arif Yunus remain on probation.
A UN report issued on December 9 puts the war’s death toll for civilians, Ukrainian government troops, and pro-Russian armed groups at 9,098 in mid-November, with another 20,732 persons injured. The report also found that new weapons and fighters continue to pour into rebel-held areas.
The Russian president said that the black box of a Russian warplane downed by Turkey last month has been recovered, and will ask foreign specialists to help analyze it.
The agency, whose creation is among the criteria for for visa liberalization with the EU, is tasked with tracing assets acquired through corruption and other crimes. (In Ukrainian)
In remarks addressing the ministry’s work over the last year, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin announced that criminal proceedings would soon be initiated against EU politicians who have visited annexed Crimea without permission from Ukraine. (In Russian)
Soldiers returning from an anti-terrorist exercise in Ukraine’s western Lviv region received training on military reconnaissance and tactics, and NATO’s rules of engagement. (In Ukrainian)
Russia's Justice Ministry has added the Mashr (Peace) human rights organization in the North Caucasus region of Ingushetia to the official register of organizations "operating as foreign agents."
In an interview with RFE/RL, opposition politician Leonid Volkov expressed concerns that the new law would incur significant costs, bar regular users from data, and be subject to misuse by members of the security services. (In Russian)