Donald Trump's national security adviser has insisted the US president's revelations to Russian officials about the terrorist threat from Islamic State were "wholly appropriate" and amounted to a routine sharing of information.
In a move raising the potential threat of a Russia-NATO conflict, Russia says it will deploy long-range air defence missiles to its base in Syria and destroy any target that may threaten its warplanes after the downing of its military jet by Turkey.
Russia has called on Washington to restart direct military-to-military co-operation to avert “unintended incidents” near Syria, at a time when US officials say Moscow is building up forces to protect president Bashar al-Assad’s government.
The news that the Ukrainian military is battling rebel armoured vehicles that crossed from Russia and headed towards Mariupol does not auger well for today’s meeting between Russian and Ukrainian presidents in Minsk. It suggests that Russia is determined to copper-fasten its authority in the region. The Ukraine’s response, and that of its allies, will shape events, but it seems difficult to predict a peaceful outcome.
Russia’s foreign minister has promised a firm response if its citizens or interests come under attack in Ukraine – a vow that came after Ukraine announced a renewal of its “anti-terror” campaign against those occupying buildings in its troubled east.