By Alexei Anishchuk MINSK (Reuters) - Divided by mistrust and mutual recriminations, the Russian and Ukrainian leaders will hold rare talks on Tuesday that offer only a slim hope of progress towards ending five months of separatist war in Ukraine. Since Vladimir Putin and Petro Poroshenko last met on June 6 in France, Ukraine has turned the tide of the conflict and largely encircled pro-Russian rebels holding out in two cities in the east of the former Soviet republic. But the diplomatic crisis has only deepened, especially since the downing of a Malaysian airliner over rebel-held territory last month with the loss of 298 lives. Ukraine accused Russia on Monday of sending soldiers across the border to open a new front, a charge that Moscow dismissed as the latest salvo in a campaign of misinformation. Poroshenko expressed "extraordinary concern" at the alleged move, his press service said. Russia has consistently denied arming or fighting alongside the separatists. Stung by U.S. and EU sanctions against its finance, oil and defence sectors, it has hit back by banning most Western food imports, in a trade war that is hurting both the Russian and European economies. With East-West tensions at their highest since the Cold War, Russian and NATO forces have both stepped up exercises in recent months. Tuesday's talks, expected to begin after 0700 ET in the Belarussian capital of Minsk, will include European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and the leaders of Belarus and Kazakhstan, partners in a Russian-led customs union. But expectations on all sides appear low, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel among those playing down any likelihood of a breakthrough to end the fighting, in which more than 2,000 people have been killed since April. 'COMPLETE POINTLESSNESS' At a news conference on Monday, Russia's Lavrov said the West must not expect Moscow to solve the crisis as if by magic, and suggested it needed to rethink its view of the conflict. "I think that with regard to Ukraine, a recognition will come of the complete pointlessness of betting on supporting a civil war, of betting that Ukraine, by using its army, will defeat part of its own people and peace will reign in Ukraine," he said. In the latest twist in a protracted conflict, the Ukrainian military said a group of Russian forces, disguised as rebels, had crossed into south-east Ukraine with 10 tanks and two armoured infantry vehicles. It said border guards had halted the column outside Novoazovsk, Ukraine's most south-easterly point on the Azov Sea. "This morning there was an attempt by the Russian military in the guise of Donbass fighters to open a new area of military confrontation in the southern Donetsk region," military spokesman Andriy Lysenko told journalists. Donbass is the name given to the industrialised and mainly Russian-speaking east of Ukraine, where two regions -- Donetsk and Luhansk -- have declared independence from Ukraine in an attempt to join Russia. Lysenko later added that two tanks in the column had been destroyed and several members of "an intelligence-sabotage group" had been seized. "The area is now blocked by Ukrainian troops," he said. (Additional reporting by Pavel Polityuk, Alessandra Prentice and Lina Kushch in Ukraine and Katya Golubkova, Maria Tsvetkova and Gabriela Baczynska in Moscow; writing by Mark Trevelyan; editing by Ralph Boulton, Larry King)
- The Daily Beast
Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty ImagesPolice and medical personnel were called to the Texas home of Sen. Ted Cruz Tuesday night after reports of a 14-year-old girl at the property suffering from self-inflicted stab wounds to her arms.The teen was taken to the hospital shortly after. It’s unclear who the girl was—though Cruz does have two daughters: Catherine, 11, and Caroline, 14.In a response to The Daily Beast, a representative for his office said: “This is a family matter, and thankf
- The Hill
Police are warning the public as a spike in violent "bank jugging" robberies is on the rise across Southern California, especially during the holidays.
Kirstie Alley Only ‘Recently Discovered’ Her Cancer Before She Died—Here’s the Form She Was Diagnosed With
Her friend and co-star John Travolta called her one of the "most special relationships I’ve ever had."
Herschel Walker's son says Trump called his father for months demanding that he run, while 'everyone with a brain' begged him not to
Herschel Walker was dogged during his Georgia Senate campaign by allegations including that he paid for women to have abortions.
- Fox News
People's Choice Awards: Shania Twain and Olivia Wilde go sheer on red carpet ahead of music icon's honors
Shania Twain, Olivia Wilde and Heidi Klum walked the red carpet where Lizzo and Ryan Reynolds were to be honored at 48th People's Choice Awards hosted by Kenan Thompson.
- Town & Country
The Princess of Wales paired the red dress with the Lotus Flower Tiara and Queen Elizabeth's diamond earrings for Tuesday night's reception at Buckingham Palace. See the look.
“Oh my god, now I have to live with this,” the actress — who died on Monday at age 71 — told Larry King in an interview in 2010
- LA Times
Five women, including two "Cosby Show" actors, have filed a sexual assault lawsuit against disgraced comedian Bill Cosby, NBC and TV companies.
UK says attacks on Russian bomber bases could be 'most strategically significant' force protection failure of the Ukraine war
The deadly drone attacks on the air bases housing strategic bombers occurred hundreds of miles into Russia territory, far from the front lines.
People are getting sick with mystery illnesses and testing negative for COVID, RSV, and flu. Here's why.
There are plenty of viral illnesses floating around this holiday season. Experts stress testing is key because it can lead to swift treatment.
- The Wrap
‘The View': Whoopi Mocks Possible $1.6 Million Fines of Trump Organization After Tax Fraud Conviction: ‘I Could Pay That!’
Whoopi joked she might even be able to afford the civil suit against Trump
Stuart Varney, once a loyal defender of the former president, criticized Trump on multiple fronts.
Princess Diana’s Former Butler Has a Harsh Suggestion for How Meghan Markle & Prince Harry Should Be Punished Over Bombshell Docuseries
Royalists are foaming at the mouth just waiting for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Netflix docuseries to premiere. They are ready to criticize the Sussexes at every turn, but Princess Diana’s former butler Paul Burrell wants to be heard ahead of the drama. He went to the thorn in the Sussexes’ side, Piers Morgan, to […]
- In The Know by Yahoo
Flight attendant reveals the secret meaning behind the ‘chime sounds’ you hear on airplanes: ‘I never knew that’
A flight attendant revealed the secret meaning behind the airplane chime sounds you hear during a flight.
Georgia voters on Tuesday decided the country’s final Senate contest, choosing between Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican football legend Herschel Walker after a four-week runoff blitz that drew a flood of outside spending to an increasingly personal fight.
- The State
Sanders, an NFL legend, accepted Colorado’s head coaching job last weekend. Now he’s trying to flip the Tigers’ top 2023 recruit.
How Kate Middleton and Prince William Broke Their Social Media Silence After the 'Harry & Meghan' Trailer Release
Prince William and Kate Middleton’s much-hyped Boston tour took a bit of a backseat to the trailers for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s Netflix documentary, but the Prince and Princess of Wales made their first social media posts following the 'Harry & Meghan' trailer release on Monday particularly interesting—and telling.
Twitter users, meanwhile, cracked ketchup jokes about the conviction of the former president's company for tax fraud.
Two entities under The Trump Organization’s umbrella have been convicted of criminal tax fraud. It’s a first for Donald Trump’s company, set to tarnish the former president’s brand of successful businessman.
Kate Middleton announced a Christmas special going down on the exact same day as Meghan and Harry's Netflix docuseries drop.