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Eva Ionesco is suing her mother Irina Ionesco for taking nude pictures of her when she was 11-year-old and passing them to Playboy

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French actress Eva Ionesco is suing her mother Irina Ionesco for taking nude pictures of her when she was 11-year-old – and passing them to Playboy. Eva Ionesco was the youngest ever model in Playboy magazine. Now her photographer mother Irina Ionesco has been ordered to pay 10,000 euros in damages to Eva for taking the explicit pictures of her in the 1970s, when she was between 4 and 12. T...

Russian stock market fell sharply as investors weighed the impact of western sanctions over Ukraine

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Russian stock market fell sharply on Friday as investors weighed the impact of western sanctions over Ukraine. The MICEX index, which is priced in roubles fell as much as 3% and the RTS, which is priced in dollars fell 3.6% Shares slumped after President Barack Obama said sanctions might be extended to key parts of the Russian economy if Russia took further action in Ukraine. Russia’s minin...

President Vladimir Putin has signed into law a ban on Americans adopting Russian orphans

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President Vladimir Putin has signed into law a ban on Americans adopting Russian orphans. The law is a reaction to the US Magnitsky Act, which blacklists Russian officials accused of rights abuses. The death of anti-corruption lawyer Sergei Magnitsky in 2009 became a symbol of the fight against corruption in Russia, and soured relations between Russia and the US. The US state department says it &...

Russia has taken de facto armed control in Ukraine's Crimea region

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...med control in Ukraine’s Crimea region, despite Western demands that it withdraw. Thousands of Russian troops are securing the region and further armor and ship movements have been reported. Ukraine has ordered full mobilization, issuing call-up papers and asking for more international support. Russia says it is protecting its interests and those of Russian-speakers in Crimea and elsewhere i...

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...people have been arrested in Houston, Texas, on charges of illegally exporting hi-tech components to Russian security bodies. Alexander Fishenko, who owns companies in Texas and Moscow, was charged with operating in the US as an unregistered agent of the Russian government. The indictment names 11 suspects, all of whom are due in court in Houston except for three who are in Russia. There was no im...

Vladimir Putin has formally informed the Russian parliament of Crimea's request to join the Russian Federation

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President Vladimir Putin has formally informed the Russian parliament of Crimea’s request to join the Russian Federation. This is the first legislative step towards absorbing the peninsula. Vladimir Putin, who signed a decree on Monday recognizing Crimea’s independence, also approved a draft bill on the accession. The move comes after a referendum on Sunday in which Crimean officials say 97...

President Vladimir Putin has defended a ban on Americans adopting Russian children, which has been proposed by the Russian parliament

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President Vladimir Putin has defended a ban on Americans adopting Russian children, which has been proposed by the Russian parliament. Vladimir Putin said the bill, a response to the US Magnitsky Act which bars entry to Russian alleged human rights violators, was “appropriate”. Russian officials, he said, were not allowed to sit in on US cases involving the mistreatment of Russian chi...

Pro-Russian protesters have seized state security buildings in eastern Ukraine

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...chynov has called an emergency security meeting. It comes as Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said a Russian soldier had killed a Ukrainian military officer still loyal to Kiev in eastern Crimea late on Sunday. Another Ukrainian officer present is reported to have been beaten and detained by Russian troops. Pro-Russian protesters have seized state security buildings in eastern Ukraine (photo Reut...

Six Ukrainian armored vehicles have been seized by pro-Russian militants in eastern town of Kramatorsk

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...amid increasing tension across eastern Ukraine, blamed by the Kiev government and the West on covert Russian intervention in the region – an allegation denied by Moscow. The crisis escalated this month after pro-Russian rebels occupied buildings in about 10 towns and cities, demanding greater autonomy or referendums on secession. Tens of thousands of Russian soldiers are believed to have mas...

At least one person was injured during the assault on Belbek base, near Sevastopol

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Russian troops backed by armoured vehicles stormed a Ukrainian airbase in Crimea. Reports say at least one person was injured during the assault on Belbek base, near Sevastopol. The base is now said to be under Russian control. Earlier, several hundred unarmed protesters seized a Ukrainian naval base at Novofedorivka, western Crimea. Pro-Russian militia have also been seizing Ukrainian navy ships...

Vladimir Putin has warned Europe that Ukraine's delays in paying for Russian gas have created a critical situation

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...ropean leaders, President Vladimir Putin has warned Europe that Ukraine’s delays in paying for Russian gas have created a “critical situation”. Pipelines transiting Ukraine deliver Russian gas to several EU countries and there are fears that the current tensions could trigger gas shortages. Armed pro-Russian separatists are holed up in official buildings in Donetsk and Luhansk, i...

Crimea’s parliament has voted to become part of the Russian Federation

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Crimea’s parliament has voted to become part of the Russian Federation. The southern Ukrainian region’s parliament said the decision would be put to the Crimean people for their verdict in a referendum on March 16. A government minister in Kiev said they believe it would be unconstitutional for Crimea to join Russia. Crimea, a region whose population is mostly ethnic Russian (58.5%), has been at...

Gerard Depardieu has been formally registered as a permanent resident of the central Russian town of Saransk

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Gerard Depardieu has been formally registered as a permanent resident of the central Russian town of Saransk. Gerard Depardieu, 64, sought Russian citizenship after the French government criticized his decision to move abroad to avoid higher taxes. The French actor is now registered as living at No 1, Democracy Street in Saransk, in the region of Mordovia. After the ceremony, Gerard Depardieu bea...

New clashes have broken out in Polish capital Warsaw between rival Russian and Polish football fans ahead of a Euro 2012 tie between the two teams

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New clashes have broken out in Polish capital Warsaw between rival Russian and Polish football fans ahead of a Euro 2012 tie between the two teams. A march by thousands of Russian fans to mark their national day had to be halted and some missiles were thrown. Police say 56 arrests were made and that seven people were injured in the violence. Tensions are running high, given the centuries of rival...

President Barack Obama has called President Vladimir Putin urging him to use his influence to make separatists in eastern Ukraine stand down

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President Barack Obama has called President Vladimir Putin urging him to use his influence to make separatists in eastern Ukraine stand down. The phone call between Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin came as pro-Russian activists continued to occupy buildings in eastern towns. For his part, Vladimir Putin rejected accusations of Russian interference, calling the reports “unreliable”. Mea...

Arseniy Yatsenyuk is holding talks with regional leaders in Donetsk, where activists demanding self-rule are holding a big government building

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...riday seven miners died in a gas explosion, apparently unrelated to the current tensions. The mainly Russian-speaking region is dominated by Soviet-era coal-mining and heavy industry. Arseniy Yatsenyuk pledged that the Russian language would keep its official status in the region, in parallel with Ukrainian. Language is a highly sensitive issue in eastern Ukraine, where ties with Russia are strong...

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...uld be open to moving from a republic into a federation and giving broader rights to Ukraine’s Russian speakers. The pro-Russian groups who have seized government buildings in eastern regions are demanding local referendums on either increased local rights or an option to join the Russian Federation. But Oleksandr Turchynov stopped well short of giving in to these demands by showing support...

Katia Zatuliveter, the alleged Russian spy admitted a 4-year relationship with married Liberal Democrat MP Mike Hancock

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Katia Zatuliveter, an alleged Russian spy admitted a 4-year relationship with married British Liberal Democrat MP, Mike Hancock, but denied she deliberately targeted him during yesterday hearing. Katia Zatuliveter, 26, also had a string of affairs or “flirtations” with other political figures including a Nato official and a Dutch diplomat. The alleged Russian spy is accused of trying to access se...

Pro-Russian rally in Simferopol, Crimea

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Tens of thousands of Ukrainians have held rival pro-unity and pro-Russian rallies, as Moscow continues to strengthen its grip on Crimea. Pro-Russia supporters beat up their opponents in Sevastopol, Crimea. In the eastern city of Luhansk, pro-Russian activists seized regional offices forcing the governor to resign. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and UK’s PM David Cameron telephoned Russian Presid...

Pro-Russian protesters clashed with police, waved Russian flags and called for a referendum on independence from Ukraine

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...lice cordon to enter the regional administration building. The activists shouted “Donetsk is a Russian city” and raised Russian flags above the building. Pro-Russian protesters clashed with police, waved Russian flags and called for a referendum on independence from Ukraine (photo Reuters) Some called for the region to have a referendum on the region’s independence from Ukraine....

More than 8,000 Russian troops have begun military exercises close to the border with Ukraine

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More than 8,000 Russian troops have begun military exercises close to the border with Ukraine. Russian defense ministry confirmed that artillery such as rocket launchers and anti-tank weapons would also be involved in the exercises. They come at a time of high tension ahead of Crimea’s referendum on Sunday on whether to join Russia. Ukraine PM Arseniy Yatsenyuk has told the UN Security Coun...

Vladimir Putin says there is no need yet to send Russian troops into Ukraine, but he has not ruled out doing so

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President Vladimir Putin says there is no need yet to send Russian troops into Ukraine, but he has not ruled out doing so. Russia reserves the right to use “all means” to protect citizens in Ukraine, he told a news conference. Russian and Ukrainian troops in Crimea are involved in a tense stand-off. Vladimir Putin called the toppling of Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovych in the cap...

MasterCard and Visa have decided to block credit card services to some Russian bank customers as a result of US sanctions

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MasterCard and Visa have decided to block credit card services to some Russian bank customers as a result of US sanctions. Four banks are so far affected, all of which have links to Russians blacklisted by the US. Visa and MasterCard are forbidden from having any dealings with those targeted by the sanctions. The banks, which said card services stopped without warning, have described the move as...

Supreme Allied Commander Europe General Philip Breedlove has issued a warning about the build-up of Russian forces on Ukraine's border

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...exed Crimea after the predominantly ethnic-Russian region held a referendum which backed joining the Russian Federation. Kiev and the West have condemned the vote as “illegal”. Russian flags have now been hoisted at 189 Ukrainian military units and facilities in Crimea, the Interfax news agency reports. Supreme Allied Commander Europe General Philip Breedlove has issued a warning abou...

Russian officials and parliamentarians have regularly used Max Shatto’s death to justify a recent ban on adoptions to America

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...Michael McFaul has warned against “the sensational exploitations of human tragedy” after Russian officials accused an American woman of murdering her adopted Russian son, Max Shatto. Michael McFaul said the US had been working behind the scenes with Russian diplomats after Max Shatto’s death. Three-year-old Max Shatto died in January. He was adopted from a Russian orphanage. Offi...