Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTERS

MOSCOW/KIEV (Reuters) - Russia and Ukraine swapped dozens of prisoners on Saturday in a carefully-negotiated rapprochement that brought Western praise and could thaw a freeze in relations since Moscow's annexation of the Crimea region in 2014.

While the exchange of 35 prisoners on each side could help rebuild confidence between Moscow and Kiev and allow them to start talking seriously over other issues including a conflict in east Ukraine, full normalization is a long way off.

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Footage released as part of a documentary about life aboard a British warship shows an incident in which 17 Russian warplanes swarmed the Royal Navy destroyer HMS Duncan as it sailed near Crimea in the Black Sea earlier this year.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin would never invade western Europe.

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In 2014, Russia was on its way to filling a major capacity gap that emerged during the 2008 Russo-Georgia conflict; namely, a significant lack of amphibious assault capability.

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Wikimedia Commons

President Donald Trump’s press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki was an unequivocal embarrassment for the United States. Most galling was President Trump’s assertion of moral equivalency between the conduct of the mafia-state Putin has cultivated over decades and America’s past foreign policy mistakes. When pressed on why U.S.-Russia relations had deteriorated despite attempts at prior diplomatic resets, Trump responded “I hold both countries responsible. I think the U.S. has been foolish. We’ve all been foolish.”

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Associated Press/Darko Vojinovic/

Russian special forces staged a mock invasion of an island in the Gulf of Finland just days before President Donald Trump is set to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Finnish capital.

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