Putin, Erdogan, Vucic and Borisov inaugurate Turkstream pipeline | AFP

Russian president Vladimir Putin, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Serbian president Aleksandar Vucic and Bulgarian Prime minister Boyko Borisov inaugurate in Istanbul the opening of the TurkStream pipeline, which brings Russian gas to Turkey and southern Europe via the Black Sea. IMAGES

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Putin and Erdogan attend Turkstream inauguration ceremony | AFP

Russian president Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan attend in Istanbul the inauguration ceremony of the opening of the TurkStream pipeline, which brings Russian gas to Turkey and southern Europe via the Black Sea. Serbian president Aleksandar Vucic and Bulgarian Prime minister Boyko Borisov also attend the ceremony. IMAGES

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Russia flaunts firepower at Africa summit | AFP

Russia shows off its next generation Kalashnikov assault rifles, helicopters and facial recognition systems as President Vladimir Putin hosts dozens of African leaders for a major summit in Sochi. The Wednesday and Thursday event at the Black Sea resort has brought together delegates to discuss everything from nuclear technology to mineral extraction — but on the sidelines, stands for arms companies dominate.

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Putin meets with el-Sisi at Russia-Africa summit | AFP

Vladimir Putin meets with his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah el-Sisi at the Black Sea resort of Sochi. The Russian president hosts dozens of African leaders for the first Russia-Africa Summit, as Moscow seeks greater influence on a continent where the West and China have a firm foothold. The two-day event will see more than 3,000 delegates prepare deals and discuss topics from nuclear technology to mineral extraction. IMAGES

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NATO goes East: The Alliance to boost surveillance and drills in Black Sea

#NATO has agreed on a package of measures to step up its efforts in the #BlackSea and counter #Russia in the region with more surveillance and exercises promised. That’s according to the Alliance’s secretary general, speaking at NATO’s 70th anniversary celebrations.

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Ukraine military carries out exercises amid Russia tensions

The Ukrainian military carries out exercises in the town of Urzuf, between the ports of Berdyansk and Mariupol amid high tensions with Russia. Moscow and Kiev have traded angry accusations since Russian navy vessels fired on, boarded and captured the three Ukrainian ships. Poroshenko has signed an act imposing martial law for 30 days in regions bordering Russia, the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. IMAGES

RAW: Ukrainian ships seized & towed to the Kerch port after tense standoff

The Ukranian vessels were sailing between two Ukrainian ports: from Odessa in the Black Sea to Mariupol in the Azov Sea. The only waterway that connects these is the Kerch Strait between Crimea and mainland Russia. Kiev says it notified Moscow in advance that its navy ships would be sailing through the area.

Moscow denies that it was given any warning, forcing the Russian military to use weapons to stop the vessels. The three Ukrainian ships were then seized and towed to the Kerch port, according to the Russian Security Service (FSB). READ MORE: https://on.rt.com/9j95

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RAW: Russian fighter jet intercepts American spy plane over Black Sea

Courtesy: US Navy
(Not sound at source)

A Russian Su-27 aircraft has intercepted a US EP-3 spy plane in ‘unsafe’ fashion over the Black Sea, the US Navy said. It released video showing an armed Russian fighter jet flying within meters of the spy plane.

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RAW: Crime ring printing fake US dollars busted in Bulgaria

Bulgarian authorities say they have busted an organized crime ring that was printing high quality fake US dollar banknotes.

Police in the Black Sea city of Varna have seized counterfeit 100-US dollar banknotes in different degrees of completion worth 1.35 million US dollars, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.

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Floods kill at least six in southern Russia

Six people including an elderly man and woman died in floods in southern Russia, as emergency workers struggled to get food and water to the victims. Flash floods affected parts of the Krasnodar region, including the area around the Black Sea resort city of Sochi, where Moscow hosted the Winter Olympics in 2014.