This document brings our countries to a new stage of integration, says Russia’s president Vladimir Putin. Photograph:  Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters

Russian president Vladimir Putin signed a treaty with Kazakhstan and Belarus yesterday creating a vast trading bloc which he hopes will challenge the (...)

Louise Arbour,  head of the International Crisis Group: “You cannot enforce a no-fly zone without taking down the air defence system.” Photograph: Eric Luke

The deadlock in Syrian peace talks may yet prompt a revival of demands for a western military intervention in the conflict, a former UN High Co(...)

Former intelligence agency contractor Edward Snowden (2nd L) speaks to human rights representatives in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport yesterday. Photograph: Handout via Reuters.

Russia kept former US spy agency contractor Edward Snowden at arm’s length today, saying it had not been in touch with the fugitive American and had n(...)

A US military Blackhawk helicopter flies over the search area for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokar Tsarnaev in Watertown, Massachusetts, during the lockdown last Friday. Photograph: Reuters/Lucas Jackson

At 6am on Friday the phone rang. It was a message from the Boston police: “Lock your doors and stay inside.” Within minutes everyone in (...)

Russian president Vladimir Putin sent military forces back into Chechnya in 1999 and, after devastating air and artillery attacks that killed tens of thousands of people, rebel control was broken. Photograph: Michel Porro/Getty Images

The young men suspected of the Boston bombings were born into a fiercely proud Chechen nation, whose identity has been shaped(...)