Pro-Russian separatists of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic remove the state coat of arms of Ukraine from a gate of an administration building, in the eastern Ukrainian city of Luhansk. Photograph: Reuters/Shamil Zhumatov

Western and Russian officials have called for urgent dialogue to end Ukraine’s bloody crisis, after Kiev unveiled plans to help civilians escape east(...)

A member of the Donbass self-defence battalion takes part in  training at a base of the National Guard of Ukraine near Kiev today. Photograph: Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters

Russia and Ukraine agreed today to consider a proposal for Kiev to pay off a multi-billion-dollar gas bill that has soured relations between Moscow an(...)