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Russian president Vladimir Putin was typically bullish at his annual end-of-year news conference in Moscow. Photograph: Maxim Zmeyev/Reuters

Russian president Vladimir Putin has crudely rebuffed talk of a rapprochement with Turkey and given a first veiled admission that Moscow’s operatives (...)

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during an annual end-of-year news conference in Moscow. File photograph: Maxim Zmeyev/Reuters

Russian president Vladimir Putin subjected Turkey to a furious tirade on Thursday, using barrack-room language to wonder aloud whether it had shot dow(...)

A man walks near a building  in  Eastern Ghouta, on the outskirts of  Damascus.  Human Rights Watch said some of the deaths have unambiguously been traced to five detention centres and two state hospitals around Damascus. Photograph: Abdulmonam Eassa/AFP/Getty Images

Up to 7,000 Syrians who died in state detention centres were tortured, mistreated or executed, according to a leading human rights group, which has sa(...)

The reconstructed wreckage of the Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777, which was shot down over Ukraine in July. Photograph: Michael Kooren/Reuters

The Dutch government has been warned that the criminal case against those who shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 could be undermined because the(...)

Russian president Vladimir Putin with US secretary of state John Kerry at the Kremlin in Moscow. Photograph: AFP Photo/ Sergei Karpukhin

Russia and the United States can work together to make progress in ending the war in Syria, US secretary of state John Kerry told Vladimir Putin yeste(...)

Members of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent help some of the 300 civilians leaving the al-Waer neighbourhood, the last area under opposition control in central Homs, Syria, on Wednesday. Photograph: EPA/Syrian Arab News Agency

The belated evacuation of the al-Waer quarter of the central Syrian city of Homs amounts to a military, political and public relations boost for the S(...)

 The body of a woman killed during shelling lies on a street in Kramatorsk, Ukraine, on  February 10th, 2015. Fighting in eastern Ukraine has killed more than 9,000 people. Photograph: Gleb Garanich/Reuters

The United Nations has warned of grave humanitarian problems and rights abuses in eastern Ukraine, and highlighted the continued flow of Russian weapo(...)

US vice-president Joe Biden  is applauded by Ukraine president Petro Poroshenko:  Mr Biden’s address in Kiev marked the climax of a two-day visit to Ukraine. Photograph: Sergei Supinsky/AFP/Getty Images

Ukraine’s politicians must seize a historic opportunity to free the country from the grip of Russia and corrupt tycoons, US vice-president Joe Biden (...)

Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko (right) shakes hands with US vice-president Joe Biden after delivering a statement on the results of their talks in Kiev. Photograph: Reuters/Sergei Supinski/Pool

Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko has vigorously defended his record, under pressure from the United States to intensify reforms and amid calls for(...)

 Vladimir Putin’s state-of-the-nation address on television in an electronics shop in Moscow. Photograph: Yurk Kochetkov/EPA

Russia’s president Vladimir Putin has renewed his criticism of Turkey for shooting down a Russian war plane near the Syrian border last week and warne(...)

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