Russia

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As countries line up for Russia's vaccine, not everyone is buying it
As countries line up for Russia's vaccine, not everyone is buying it

It's 92% effective, according to unconfirmed data.

Nov 12, 2020 - World
Alexei Navalny in first interview: Putin was behind Novichok poisoning

"I have no other explanation for what happened."

Oct 1, 2020 - World
The tangled web of Russia's Taliban support

Suspected Russian support of the Taliban goes all the way back to the Obama administration.

Jul 8, 2020 - World
Russians back reforms that could let Putin rule through 2036, officials say

It's the most significant reform package since the fall of the Soviet Union.

Jul 1, 2020 - World
20 Years of Putin: Tracing his rise from KGB to Kremlin

Part 1 of an Axios special report focuses on his rise, his early years and his escalating antagonism with the West.

Updated Dec 31, 2019 - World

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Updated 4 hours ago - World

State Department orders evacuation of U.S. diplomats' families from Ukraine

From left, undersecretary for political affairs Victoria Nuland, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and U.S. chargés d'affaires in Ukraine Kristina Kvien during a meeting with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal in Kyiv. Photo: Yevhen Liubimov/ Ukrinform/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

The State Department will begin evacuating families and nonessential staff from the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv this week, according to a travel advisory published Sunday evening.

Why it matters: The move underscores U.S. fears that a Russian invasion could destabilize Ukraine and threaten the embassy's ability to assist Americans.

6 hours ago - World

Blinken: U.S.-Russia could still find consensus

Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Geneva last week. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Sunday there are still areas in which the U.S. and Russia may be able to find consensus, such as on arms control and the placement of missile systems in Europe, despite their standoff over Ukraine.

Why it matters: Even with those diplomatic possibilities, the secretary said the U.S. will not compromise "by one iota" on Russia's highest priority demand — freezing NATO expansion, especially for Ukraine and Georgia — which would breach the alliance's "open-door" policy.

Updated 12 hours ago - World

Blinken: Sanctioning Russia now will undercut deterrence

Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sunday rejected calls to impose economic sanctions on Russia, saying that doing so would diminish the United States' ability to dissuade the country from "engaging in further aggression."

Why it matters: Blinken's remarks on CBS' "Face the Nation" come as Ukraine and the West brace for the possibility of an imminent invasion, which became more likely toward the end of last year when Russia began amassing nearly 100,000 troops near the Ukrainian border.

Updated 13 hours ago - World

UK government: Kremlin has plan "to install pro-Russian leadership" in Ukraine

British foreign secretary Elizabeth Truss. Photo: Gints Ivuskans/AFP via Getty Images

The United Kingdom's foreign secretary on Saturday night said the government has "information that indicates the Russian government is looking to install a pro-Russian leader in Kyiv as it considers whether to invade and occupy Ukraine."

The latest: “I can’t comment on specific pieces of intelligence. But we’ve been warning about just this kind of tactic for weeks and we’ve spoken to that publicly," Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Sunday. The Biden administration has said Russia is actively manufacturing a pretext for invasion and warned that Putin could use joint military exercises in Belarus as cover to invade from the north.

14 hours ago - World

German navy chief resigns after suggesting Putin deserves respect

German defence minister Christine Lambrecht (left) welcomes Vice-Admiral Kay-Achim Schönbach during a visit to the Naval Base Warnemuende in December. Photo: Bernd Wüstneck-Pool/AFP via Getty Images

The chief of the German Navy resigned Saturday after he came under fire for suggesting that Crimea would "never come back" to Ukraine and that Russian President Vladimir Putin deserved respect, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: Vice-Admiral Kay-Achim Schönbach's resignation comes as Ukraine and the West brace for the possibility of an imminent Russian invasion after Russia positioned nearly 100,000 troops near the Ukrainian border last month.

Jan 21, 2022 - World

U.S. will give Russians written response to NATO demands, Blinken says

Blinken and Lavrov shake hands in Geneva. Photo: Russian Foreign Ministry / Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Secretary of State Antony Blinken confirmed after a meeting with his Russian counterpart on Friday that the U.S. will provide written answers to Russia's security demands next week.

Why it matters: Russia claims to be waiting for "concrete answers" to its demands that NATO rule out further expansion and roll back its presence in eastern Europe before deciding its next steps on Ukraine. But the U.S. and NATO have called those proposals "non-starters," and Friday's meeting offered no breakthroughs, so it's unclear how written answers might change the equation.

Jan 21, 2022 - World

Who's arming Ukraine: U.S., U.K., Baltic states — but not Germany

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson (right) meets with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Photo: Aaron Chown/WPA Pool/Getty

The State Department has approved requests from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to transfer U.S.-made weaponry to Ukraine, reflecting a growing urgency on NATO's eastern periphery to deter Russian aggression.

Why it matters: As much as the Ukrainian military has improved since 2014, it would still be no match for a full-scale Russian invasion. The U.S. and its allies are instead hoping that Western arms and training — in addition to the threat of crippling financial sanctions — will help deter Vladimir Putin from invading.

Jan 21, 2022 - World

What Putin's Ukraine options look like

Russia President Vladimir Putin confers with defense minister Sergei Shoigu. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty

The Biden administration is framing Russian escalation in Ukraine as almost a foregone conclusion, but the Russians are still at the table and Vladimir Putin may be seeking concessions from the West rather than a military confrontation with Kyiv.

Driving the news: Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who will meet his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov on Friday in Geneva, contended in a speech Thursday from Berlin that Putin's intentions are clear: "He's laying the groundwork for an invasion because he doesn’t believe Ukraine is a sovereign nation."

Updated Jan 20, 2022 - World

Biden cleans up comments about Russia invading Ukraine

Photo: Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

President Biden sought to clarify his suggestion that a "minor incursion" by Russia into Ukraine may not draw the same response as a large invasion, telling reporters Thursday that "Russia will pay a heavy price" if any troops cross the border.

Why it matters: Some officials in Kyiv saw Biden's comments as inviting Russian aggression.

Jan 20, 2022 - World

Putin is challenging Ukraine's "right to exist," Blinken says

Blinken (L) speaks in Berlin on Thursday. Photo: Kay Nietfeld - Pool/Getty

Secretary of State Tony Blinken put the stakes of a Russian invasion of Ukraine in stark terms on Thursday, saying Vladimir Putin's threat is a direct challenge to Ukraine's "right to exist" as an independent country and a democracy.

What he's saying: “There’s been a lot of speculation about President Putin’s true intentions, but we don’t actually have to guess. He’s told us, repeatedly. He’s laying the groundwork for an invasion because he doesn’t believe Ukraine is a sovereign nation," Blinken said during a speech in Berlin.

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