Journalists waiting for a meeting of the four-way summit on eastern Ukraine in Minsk, Belarus, on Tuesday. Photograph: Reuters/Vasily Fedosenko

Western powers have vowed swiftly to toughen their stance against Russia over the conflict in Ukraine if they judge that today’s peace talks are a fa(...)

Italian aid workers Greta Ramelli  (centre) and Vanessa Marzullo are welcomed by Italian foreign minister Paolo Gentiloni at Ciampino’s military airport in Rome on Friday. Photograph: EPA/Massimo Percossi

Italian foreign minister Paolo Gentiloni in parliament yesterday denied a €12 million ransom had been paid by Italy for the release of two aid worke(...)

Pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine have named Alexander Zakharchenko (2nd left) leader of their breakaway republic after a weekend election which was denounced by Kiev and the West and further deepened a standoff with Russia over the future of the state. Photograph:  Photomig/EPA.

Pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine have named a leader of their breakaway republic after a weekend election which was denounced by Kiev and the West a(...)

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