A couple stands by pictures depicting Russian president Vladimir Putin at an open-air political cartoons exhibition dedicated to the one-year anniversary of Crimea voting to leave Ukraine and join the Russian state in central Moscow. Photograph: Dmitry Serebryako/AFP/Getty Images

Russia has said it will not hand back Crimea to Ukraine, despite warnings by the United States and European Union that they will not drop sanctions ov(...)

Safinar Dzhemilev, at home in Bakhchisarai, Crimea. Russia has banned her husband, a veteran Tatar leader, from entering the annexed region and he now lives in Kiev. Photograph: Daniel McLaughlin

Apricot blossom already dusts the sun-dappled fields of Bakhchisarai, but Safinar Dzhemilev is in no mood to savour springtime in the ancient capital (...)

Russian president Vladimir Putin shakes hands with the president of Kyrgyzstan Almazbek Atambayev during a meeting in Saint Petersburg on Monday. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Vladimir Putin has reappeared in public after a mysterious 10-day absence that sparked frenzied speculation about the whereabouts of the Russian pres(...)

German chancellor Angela Merkel and Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko following their talks in Berlin. Photograph: Reuters/Fabrizio Bensch

As Russia celebrated the first anniversary of its Crimean annexation, Ukraine’s president Petro Poroshenko has dismissed as “hope, not reality” the(...)

A woman looks at the documentary “Homeward Bound”. Putin said he was ready to put the country’s nuclear forces on alert as he sought to annex Crimea last year after the fall of a Moscow-backed government in Kiev. Speaking in a documentary aired on state TV in Russia  a year after the takeover of the Black Sea Peninsula from Ukraine, Putin showed the lengths he was willing to go. Photo: Dmitry  Serebryakovditry/AFP/Getty Images.

Moscow was ready to put its nuclear forces on alert to ensure Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine last year, President Vladimir Putin said in (...)

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.  The leaders in Moscow and Pyongyang appear to have much in the way of common cause. Photograph: Reuters

Russia and North Korea have announced that they will deepen economic and political ties under the banner of a “year of friendship” – a development tha(...)

A Turkish soldier stands guard in a Black Sea port ahead of a Nato naval exercise. Photograph: Sasa Kavic/Reuters

Nato’s Black Sea members Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey joined the US, Canada, Germany and Italy in a multinational naval exercise just across the water(...)

Russian president Vladimir Putin has said he ordered officials to start work on taking control of Crimea weeks before a referendum which – the Kremlin has asserted until now – prompted the region’s annexation from Ukraine. Photograph: EPA

Russian president Vladimir Putin has said he ordered officials to start work on taking control of Crimea weeks before a referendum which – the Kremli(...)

A portrait of murdered Russian opposition veteran leader Boris Nemtsov among  tributes in his memory at the site of his killing in central Moscow. His girlfriend has broken her public silence on the murder of the Russian opposition activist, saying she did not see the killer who shot him as they strolled across a bridge near the Kremlin. Photograph: Sergei Ilnitsky/EPA. 1:33

Boris Nemtsov’s girlfriend has broken her public silence on the murder of the Russian opposition activist, saying she did not see the killer who shot (...)

Taavi Roivas of the Reform Party which has 29.2 per cent of the vote with more than two-thirds of the votes counted.  Photograph: Ints Kalnins/Reuters

Estonia’s ruling centre-right party took the lead after an election on Sunday overshadowed by fears that neighbouring Russia might interfere in the sm(...)