Ukraine

Five Pacific countries in line for visa-free access to Ukraine

According to the Ukrainian Government, the Parliament will be asked to grant visa-free access for 14 more countries.

They include Samoa, Palau, Nauru, Solomon Islands and the Marshall Islands.

Currently, passport holders of these five countries are eligible for electronic visas as are all those from other Pacific Island countries apart from Papua New Guinea.

The Government said expanding the list of countries for visa-free travel was the key for opening the world for Ukrainians.

     

Russia behind cyber-attack, says Ukraine

The country's security service, the SBU, said it had obtained data that points to a link with an attack on the nation's capital, Kiev, in December.

Ukrainian firms were among the first to report issues with malicious software on Tuesday, before the virus spread.

Moscow denied any involvement, adding that the allegations were "unfounded".

The virus, which disrupted IT systems across the globe, froze computers and demanded a ransom be paid in the digital currency Bitcoin, which is untraceable.

American killed in Ukraine identified

He is Joseph Stone, 36, according to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's Special Monitoring Mission. There was no further detail released about Stone.

It is the first time a member of an SMM patrol has been killed while on duty.

Stone died and two other monitors were injured on Sunday after an explosion damaged a mission vehicle near Pryshyb in eastern Ukraine. A mine might have triggered the blast.

MH17: Russia blames Ukraine

At a news conference Monday, the head of Russian air and Space forces, Andrei Koban, said that analysis of the data refuted the widely-accepted conclusion that the aircraft was shot down by a BUK missile from within territory held by Russian-backed rebels.

"The fact that Ukrainian authorities have still not published the information they have, we can concluded that if it was a BUK that was launched at the (Malaysian Airlines flight), this must have been launched from a location with the Ukrainian forces," Koban said.

MH17 crash: Big Buk missile part found in Ukraine

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) image shows a "Venturi", which emits propellant gases, like a car exhaust.

Dutch prosecutors want more information from Russia about the Buk, which they say killed 298 people aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 in July 2014.

The West and Ukraine say Russian-backed rebels fired the Buk missile.

Russia argues that Ukrainian forces downed MH17. The Boeing 777, en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, crashed in rebel-held territory.

Ukraine rebels to delay local elections

Ukraine's president and Russian lawmakers hailed the move as a step toward peace in a war that has killed more than 8,000 people since April 2014.

A statement Tuesday from Denis Pushilin and Vladislav Deinego said the rebel-run areas of Donetsk and Luhansk provinces would put off the votes until Feb. 21. The two are the Donetsk and Luhansk envoys to the Minsk Group peace talks mediated by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

9 dead as shelling increases in eastern Ukraine

The fighting between Russia-backed separatist rebels and Ukrainian government troops in the country's industrial heartland eased after a truce was signed in February. But despite pledges to withdraw heavy caliber weapons from the front lines, both sides seem to be engaged in recent heavy fighting.

The conflict has killed an estimated 6,400 people since April 2014, according to the United Nations.

VIDEO: UK Defence Min visits military training base

Michael Fallon observed British instructors training Ukrainian military specialists and pledged the UK's continued support for Ukraine.

About 300 instructors, including trainers in the fields of military operation, intelligence, logistics and medical aid, shared experiences with Ukrainian army officers and troops.

The training is expected to continue until March 2016.