Ukraine’s need to beef up its coastal defense reveals conflicting interests with Russians in Crimea. Ukraine seeks to defend its interests - Mariupol is home to a steel industry dependent on sea access.
Facing the press for the first time since being freed in a major prisoner swap between Ukraine and Russia, the film director spoke of the suffering in Russian jails and issued a stark warning about Vladimir Putin.
After lengthy negotiations, Russia and Ukraine carried out a major prisoner exchange. While Ukraine saw prominent filmmaker Oleg Sentsov and others freed, Russia benefited most from the swap.
The French foreign minister has called during a Moscow visit for better ties with Russia. Relations between Europe and Russia have been strained since the EU and US imposed sanctions over Moscow's annexation of Crimea.
Russian and Ukrainian authorities have confirmed the long-awaited prisoner exchange. Those swapped are believed to include Ukrainian journalists, sailors, a filmmaker and a suspected Russian witness to the MH17 downing.
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