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Putin writes to Nemtsov’s mother after murder

Vladimir Putin has written a letter telling Boris Nemtsov’s mother, Dina Eidman that he 'shares her sorrow.'

The message of condolences from the President, published on the Kremlin website, reads in part:

Please accept my deepest condolences in connection with this irreparable loss. I sincerely share your sorrow.

Boris Nemtsov has left his mark in the history of Russia, in its political and public life. He occupied significant posts in a difficult time of transition in this country. He always openly and honestly voiced and upheld his views.

We will do everything to ensure that the perpetrators of this foul and cynical crime and those who stand behind them are properly punished.

– Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin: Ukraine ceasefire from Sunday

Vladimir Putin Credit: Reuters

Russian president Vladimir Putin says a ceasefire in the Ukraine conflict has been agreed.

The ceasefire will begin on Sunday, he said and heavy artillery will be removed.

Speaking to reporters after almost 16 hours of talks, Putin said: "We have managed to agree on the main issues."

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US warns 'Russian costs will rise' without Ukraine peace deal

The White House said President Barack Obama urged Russian President Vladimir Putin in a phone call to agree to a peace deal.

"If Russia continues its aggressive actions in Ukraine, including by sending troops, weapons, and financing to support the separatists, the costs for Russia will rise," the White House statement added.

President Putin in on a trip to Egypt. Credit: Reuters

The Kremlin, in its statement about the call, said Putin and Obama highlighted the need for the need for a political solution to the "internal" conflict in Ukraine.

The Kremlin also said the two leaders also noted the necessity to safeguard the rights of inhabitants of all Ukrainian regions, including Russian-speakers in the east.

Hammond: Putin acting like 'mid-20th century tyrant'

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond.

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of acting like a "mid-20th century tyrant" over Ukraine,

Mr Hammond said that President Putin reverse its annexation of the Crimea and start respecting international law.

He also predicted that Russian economic decline - partly as a result of international sanctions - would curb its "outrageous" foreign adventures.

Putin spokesman calls Asperger's claim 'stupidity'

A claim that Russian President Vladimir Putin has Asperger's syndrome is "stupidity not worthy of comment," a Kremlin spokesman said.

Dmitry Peskov's comment to the Gazeta.ru website comes after it was revealed that a Pentagon report, written in 2008, theorised the Russian president has "an autistic disorder which affects all of his decisions".

Russian President Vladimir Putin. Credit: James Moy/James Moy Photography/PA Images

The study, conducted for Pentagon thinktank the Office of Net Assessment, monitored Putin's movements and concluded that in very early life he "suffered a huge hemispheric event".

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said he had no comment on the report.

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Moscow celebrates Vladimir Putin's 62nd birthday

People in the Russian capital of Moscow have been seen celebrating president Vladimir Putin's 62nd birthday today.

A huge banner hung from a bridge in the city showing US president Barack Obama wearing a T-shirt wishing happy birthday to 'global daddy' Putin.

A huge banner depicting US president Barack Obama wearing a Putin T-shirt hangs on a bridge in Moscow. Credit: Reuters

Shops in the capital sold T-shirts and sweatshirts emblazoned with their leader's face.

A shop assistant in Moscow shows off his Putin sweatshirts. Credit: Reuters
A Moscow shop sells sweatshirts printed with a sunglasses-wearing Putin. Credit: Reuters

But demonstrators in Poland chose today to protest against Putin's rule outside the Russian embassy in Warsaw.

Demonstrators in Poland hold anti-Putin posters in Warsaw on the Russian president's 62nd birthday. Credit: Reuters

Putin: Deal to end fighting 'could be reached by Friday'

A deal to end fighting in eastern Ukraine could be reached this week, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said.

A local resident walks past a crater caused by shelling in the village of Spartak outside Donetsk. Credit: REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

Following a phone call with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, Putin said their views on ending the violence were "very close" and suggested Kiev and the pro-Russian separatists could reach an agreement by Friday.

Earlier US President Barack Obama said a ceasefire would only succeed if Russia stopped sending troops "disguised as separatists" into Ukraine.

Putin and Poroshenko 'largely agree' way out of crisis

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko have spoken by phone and "largely agree" on a possible way out of the Ukraine crisis, Interfax news agency reported, citing Putin's spokesman.

Vladimir Putin and Petro Poroshenko shaking hands during their last meeting. Credit: Reuters

"The viewpoints of the presidents of the two countries largely coincide on possible ways out of the grave crisis situation," Dmitry Peskov was quoted as saying.

Putin: Moscow cannot stand aside in Ukraine crisis

President Vladimir Putin said Moscow could not stand aside when people were being shot at in Ukraine, he told Russia's state TV Channel 1 in an interview.

Vladimir Putin Credit: Reuters

It must be borne in mind that Russia cannot stand aside when people are being shot at almost at point blank.

– Vladimir Putin

Mr Putin also said ending the crisis was down to "the political will of the current Ukrainian authorities".

The West has accused Moscow of supporting pro-Russian separatists who are fighting Ukrainian government forces in the east of the country.

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