In war-torn Ukraine, women get taste of combat training

In a gym in the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol, not far from the frontline with Russia-backed separatists, 20 women fall to the floor and pull back the rifle bolts of dummy Kalashnikovs. The free courses -dubbed “White angels” – were put together by police officers and former members of a far-right battalion who fought against the separatists in the east of the ex-Soviet country.

Tymoshenko submits candidacy for Ukrainian presidential election

Former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko submits her candidacy for the 2019 presidential election.

Ex-PM Tymoshenko launches bid for Ukraine presidency

Former Ukrainian Prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko officially launches her bid for the country’s presidency, with polls showing her as the frontrunner. IMAGES

Ukraine’s newly independent church holds first service

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko takes part in Ukraine’s newly created independent Orthodox Church’s first service in Kiev after a historic break with the Russian Orthodox Church that has enraged Moscow. The service came a day after the Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew based in Istanbul handed over a formal decree that finalised recognition of Ukraine’s new Church. IMAGES

Orthodox patriarch signs decree on independent Ukraine church

The Istanbul-based Orthodox patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople signs the formal decree confirming the creation of an independent Ukrainian church. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko attended the ceremony in Istanbul. IMAGES

Ukrainians await historic synod decision on independent church

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko arrives at Kiev’s Saint Sophia Cathedral while several thousands of Ukrainians rally outside ahead of a historic synod expected to establish an Orthodox church independent from Russia. IMAGES

Cousin of jailed Sakharov Prize winner Oleg Sentsov speaks

AFP speaks to the cousin of jailed Ukrainian film director Oleg Sentsov, winner of this year’s Sakharov prize for human rights in October. Sentsov, who recently ended a hunger strike, is serving a 20-year sentence in a prison in the Russian Arctic.

Ukrainian film director Sentsov receives the Sakharov Prize

The European Parliament awards the 2018 Sakharov Prize to the imprisoned Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov at a ceremony in the presence of his cousin Natalia Kaplan and his lawyer Dmitri Dinze. IMAGES

Nationalists march in Kiev to demand end to all ties with Russia

Ukrainian nationalist militants gather in central Kiev, before going to the offices of the presidential administration to demand the end of all ties with Russia. Parliament symbolically ended a treaty of friendship and cooperation with Moscow the day before, but this measure is not considered sufficient by the activists.