Russia

Ukraine shopping mall hit by Russian missile strike

President Volodymyr Zelensky said more than 1000 people were in the shopping centre at the time of the attack on Monday, which witnesses said caused a huge fire and sent dark smoke billowing into the sky.

"It is impossible to even imagine the number of victims ... It's useless to hope for decency and humanity from Russia," Zelensky wrote on the Telegram messaging app.

Russia becomes China's biggest oil supplier

Imports of Russian oil rose by 55% from a year earlier to a record level in May, displacing Saudi Arabia as China's biggest provider.

China has ramped up purchases of Russian oil despite demand dampened by Covid curbs and a slowing economy.

In February, China and Russia declared their friendship had "no limits".

Russia's new version of McDonald's unveils logo

The new branding features a circle and two lines, which are said to represent a burger and two French fries.

The company has not yet revealed the name of the chain, although a number of options have reportedly been considered.

In May, McDonald's said it would pull out of Russia over the Ukraine war.

It comes as the Russian chain is scheduled to reopen 15 restaurants this weekend, according to Russian state-owned news agency TASS, which cited Sistema PBO, the firm that manages the business previously owned by McDonald's.

Marriott hotel chain to leave Russia after 25 years

The company closed its Moscow office and paused investment in Russia in March, following the invasion of Ukraine.

However, its 22 hotels in the country are owned by third parties and remained open.

Marriott said the process of suspending operations in Russia was "complex".

But in a statement, it said: "We have come to the view that newly announced US, UK and EU restrictions will make it impossible for Marriott to continue to operate or franchise hotels in the Russian market."

Starbucks to quit Russia but pay six months' wages

The coffee chain will now retreat entirely from the Russian market, after suspending trading there in March.

It said it would continue to pay nearly 2000 staff working at its shops in the country for six months.

Starbucks joins firms such as McDonald's and Renault in permanently exiting the country.

US and Western allies responded to the war by hitting Russia with wide ranging economic sanctions aimed at isolating it economically and cutting it off from the global financial system. The rules make it difficult for Western companies to operate there.

Russian McDonald's buyer to rebrand restaurants

Alexander Govor, who currently operates 25 McDonald's restaurants in Siberia, will take on the firm's restaurants and staff, operating them under a new brand, the fast food giant said.

It did not disclose the sale price, but has warned investors it would take a more than $1 billion hit from the exit.

McDonald's had operated in Russia for more than 30 years.

The opening of its first restaurant in Moscow in 1990 came to symbolise a thaw in Cold War tensions.

Russia denies it plans to declare war on 9 May

Moscow has up until now denied it is at war, instead referring to the invasion as a "special military operation".

But Western officials have speculated that President Vladimir Putin could use the 9 May Victory Parade to announce an escalation of military action.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, however, said there was no truth to the rumours "at all".

US, Russia swap prisoners amid war tensions

The swap was not part of broader diplomatic talks and did not represent an American change in approach on Ukraine, US officials said. Russian-American ties have been at their worst since the Cold War era following Russia's 24 February invasion of Ukraine and subsequent Western sanctions imposed on Moscow.

Reed, from Texas, was expected to arrive back in the United States on Wednesday night, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said. Senior US officials said the 30-year-old was in "good spirits."

Residents rebuild Bucha as Russia bans UK PM

As the BBC's Anna Foster reports, most people are yet to return, and there's just one small, hardy group who are trying to pave the way for others to come back.

Sergei and his wife arrived at their flat five days ago. Now they and their neighbours are trying to rebuild their damaged homes, and clearing away the debris of countless Russian shells.

"You always want to come back home", he says. "So we used our first chance to return as well. And we used our chance to make sure that all the property is safe, even from locals that might come and steal something."

Russian warship: Moskva sinks in Black Sea

Moskva, the flagship of Russia's Black Sea Fleet, was being towed to port when "stormy seas" caused it to sink, according to a ministry message.

The 510-crew missile cruiser was a symbol of Russia's military power, leading its naval assault on Ukraine.

Kyiv says its missiles hit the warship. The United States says it also believes it was hit by Ukrainian missiles.

Moscow has not reported any attack - it says the vessel sank after a fire.