Russian anti-corruption blogger Alexei Navalny lost the Moscow mayor's race, but he's calling for a recount -- and a runoff election. He claims that Sunday's contest was rigged.
The mission is a key feature of a peace roadmap, which France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine discussed in Berlin on Wednesday. Pro-Moscow rebels have objected to the deployment of armed observers in east Ukraine.
The West is barely flexing its muscles, and Russian President Vladimir Putin is already signaling a willingness to talk. His visit to Berlin is no more than tactical maneuver, thinks Andrey Gurkov.
"Better this than nothing" was the reaction after Vladimir Putin's first visit to Germany since the Ukraine crisis. But it's unclear whether the meeting will yield any concrete results on either that conflict or Syria.
Moscow has said the ceasefire will enable civilians and rebels to leave the city's besieged eastern areas. The UN hopes to carry out a medical evacuation on Friday but admits "everything can go wrong."
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