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International observers will watch U.S. vote closely

Amid charges from Donald Trump that the U.S. presidential election could be “rigged” and concerns of rights activists that black voters may face undue obstacles, the head of an international observer team pledged a full review ranging from voting machines to racial bias as it began work on Tuesday. The team from the 57-nation Organization

Ukraine Regional Vote Deemed Illegal by European Leaders

 Residents in two Ukrainian regions began voting in referendums on autonomy as European leaders threatened more sanctions for Russian President Vladimir Putin tied to a May 25 presidential election. The separatist votes in the eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions on whether to declare independence from Ukraine defy a call from Putin to postpone them and

Ukraine Unrest Flares as Kiev’s Control Slips

 Ukraine sought to dislodge rebels from its eastern industrial heartland as violence that’s also spread to the Black Sea gateway of Odessa threatens to loosen Kiev’s control of the regions. Troops in the Donetsk area, near the Russian border, took back a television tower overnight that had been seized by pro-Russian forces, Interior Minister Arsen

Ukraine Presses Assault on Rebels With Warning of ˜War’

 Violence escalated in Ukraine’s easternmost regions as the government pressed its offensive to dislodge rebels and an official characterized that part of the country as “essentially” at war, while the conflict spread to the south. International monitors who had been held by pro-Russian separatists were released yesterday, as Russia said it’s receiving mounting calls for

Ukraine separatists seize second provincial capital, fire on police

 Hundreds of pro-Moscow separatists stormed government buildings in one of Ukraine’s provincial capitals on Tuesday and fired on police holed up in a regional headquarters, a major escalation of their revolt despite new Western sanctions on Russia. New U.S. and EU sanctions packages, announced with fanfare, were seen as so mild that Russian share prices

Observers held in Ukraine speak under armed guard

 Pro-Russian militants in camouflage fatigues and black balaclavas paraded captive European military observers before the media on Sunday, hours after three captured Ukrainian security guards were shown bloodied, blindfolded and stripped of their trousers and shoes, their arms bound with packing tape. The provocative displays came as the increasingly ruthless pro-Russian insurgency in the east

Obama urges united riposte to Russia for “destabilizing” Ukraine

 U.S. President Barack Obama on Sunday said the United States and Europe must join forces to impose sanctions on Russia to stop it destabilizing Ukraine, where armed pro-Russian separatists were for a third day holding eight international observers prisoner. Washington and Brussels are expected, possibly as early as Monday, to name new people and firms

Ukraine blames Moscow for ‘human shield’ detentions in east

 Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine offered on Saturday to release eight captive international observers in a prisoner exchange, as Western governments prepared new sanctions against Moscow. The pro-Western government in Kiev blamed Russia for what it called the kidnapping on Friday of the monitors from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). The

Russia Faces More Sanctions as Monitors Held in Ukraine

 Group of Seven leaders agreed to impose additional sanctions on Russia, blaming it for stoking the conflict in Ukraine as the Ukrainian government said militants had taken international monitors hostage. Penalties are to be unveiled early next week by the U.S. and the European Union, according to a European diplomat and an American official. The