AP FACT CHECK: Spicer says case closed on Russia. It's not

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The question of collusion between Russian interests and Donald Trump's campaign is far from answered, despite repeated assertions by the president's spokesman that it's case closed. Sean Spicer angrily dismissed inquiries about the matter Tuesday, declaring that "every single person who's been briefed on this, as I've said ad nauseam from this podium .

AP FACT CHECK: Spicer says case closed on Russia. It's not

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The question of collusion between Russian interests and Donald Trump's campaign is far from answered, despite repeated assertions by the president's spokesman that it's case closed. Sean Spicer angrily dismissed inquiries about the matter Tuesday, declaring that "every single person who's been briefed on this, as I've said ad nauseam from this podium .

Russian Manafort client: Willing to speak to Congress

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A Russian billionaire close to President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday he is willing to take part in U.S. congressional hearings to discuss his past business relationship with President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort. Last week, The Associated Press reported that Manafort had written aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska in 2005, proposing to do work for Deripaska that would "benefit the Putin Government.

Navalny: a savvy and determined Kremlin foe

MOSCOW (AP) -- The 15-day jail sentence imposed Monday on Alexei Navalny is nothing new for the Kremlin's most visible domestic foe, and is unlikely to be more than a brief interruption of his campaign against what he calls "the party of crooks and thieves." He's repeatedly been jailed, endured a year of house arrest and three convictions that could have brought him significant prison time.

Russian protest leader Alexei Navalny gets 15 days in jail

MOSCOW (AP) -- The wave of nationwide demonstrations that shook Russia's long dormant political scene over the weekend showed a new face of protest: mostly teenage demonstrators driven by accusations of high-level official corruption, glaring amid the nation's painful two-year recession. A year before facing re-election, President Vladimir Putin has a dilemma: to further tighten the screws or to devise more artful means for keeping a lid on dissent.

Nationwide protests bring thousands to Russia's streets

MOSCOW (AP) -- Russia's opposition, often written off by critics as a small and irrelevant coterie of privileged urbanites, put on an impressive nationwide show of strength Sunday with dozens of protest across the vast country. Hundreds were arrested, including Alexei Navalny, the anti-corruption campaigner who is President Vladimir Putin's most prominent critic.

Trump campaign chair offers to talk to House panel on Russia

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Donald Trump's former campaign manager, a key figure in investigations into the Trump campaign's ties to Russia, has volunteered to be interviewed by lawmakers as part of an increasingly partisan House probe of the Kremlin's alleged meddling in the 2016 election. The chairman of the House intelligence committee, Rep.

Putin meets Le Pen, denies French election interference

MOSCOW (AP) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin made his preferences in the French presidential election clear Friday by hosting far-right candidate Marine Le Pen at the Kremlin, but analysts are skeptical about Russia's ability to sway the outcome of the vote. Embracing Le Pen is part of Russia's efforts to reach out to nationalist and anti-globalist forces to build up its influence in the West and help overcome the strains in relations with the U.S.

20,000 evacuated after fire at military arsenal in Ukraine

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) -- Around 20,000 people were evacuated Thursday in Ukraine's Kharkiv region near the border with Russia after a massive fire at a military arsenal. The fire at the depot in Balaklia, which holds large-caliber artillery rounds and is one of Ukraine's largest, erupted early Thursday, prompting the evacuation and Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman to fly to the area to monitor the blaze, which is still raging.

Biden questions Trump administration's 'romance' with Putin

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Former Vice President Joe Biden said Wednesday he's concerned about an apparent "romance" between the Trump administration and Russian President Vladimir Putin. While declining to comment on an FBI probe of possible links between Russia and associates of President Donald Trump, Biden said "the whole notion that there's still this romance with Putin" was worrisome.

AP Exclusive: Before Trump job, Manafort worked to aid Putin

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Before signing up with Donald Trump, former campaign manager Paul Manafort secretly worked for a Russian billionaire with a plan to "greatly benefit the Putin Government," The Associated Press has learned. The White House attempted to brush the report aside Wednesday, but it quickly raised fresh alarms in Congress about Russian links to Trump associates.

Closer US-Russia ties uncertain as Tillerson plans trip

WASHINGTON (AP) -- With Russia-tinged investigations swirling around his administration, President Donald Trump has yet to fulfill a campaign pledge of closer cooperation with Moscow. A planned trip by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to Russia could test if detente proves anything more than talk. In a move alarming U.S. allies, Tillerson plans to skip a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Belgium next month, according to U.S. officials.

Closer US-Russia ties uncertain as Tillerson plans trip

WASHINGTON (AP) -- With Russia-tinged investigations swirling around his administration, President Donald Trump has yet to fulfill a campaign pledge of closer cooperation with Moscow. A planned trip by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to Russia could test if detente proves anything more than talk. In a move alarming U.S. allies, Tillerson plans to skip a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Belgium next month, according to U.S. officials.

Syrian Kurdish militia says it's getting Russian training

BEIRUT (AP) -- A Syrian Kurdish militia that Turkey views as a terrorist group said Monday that it is receiving training from Russia. Russia's Defense Ministry said it had embedded servicemen with the People's Protection Units, or YPG, in northern Syria, but said they were there to monitor a cease-fire between the Kurdish forces and rival Turkish-backed Syrian opposition forces. It said the servicemen were not there to establish a base.

The Latest: Trump keeping tabs on Russia hearing, tweeting

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Latest on a congressional inquiry into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election (all times local): 3:05 p.m. President Donald Trump is keeping tabs on the congressional hearing on Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. He's tweeting that the FBI and National Security Agency are telling Congress that Russia did not influence the electoral process.

Russia says US missile systems a risk to regional security

TOKYO (AP) -- Russia views U.S. missile defense systems being deployed in northeast Asia as a threat to regional security, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said following talks Monday with Japanese officials in Tokyo. Strategic concerns, both in northeast Asia and elsewhere, including Syria and Ukraine, were among a wide range of regional and global issues addressed in the one-day talks among foreign and defense ministers from Japan and Russia.

Japan and Russia hold talks on security, territorial dispute

TOKYO (AP) -- The foreign and defense ministers from Japan and Russia met in Tokyo on Monday, with both sides expressing hope that discussions on joint development of islands claimed by both countries might help them move closer to resolving the territorial dispute preventing them from forging a peace treaty. The talks are the first "two-plus-two" meeting since Russia's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

Lamborghinis and icons: New and old mix for Moscow visitor

MOSCOW (AP) -- Leonid Brezhnev had a taste for fast, flashy Western cars. So perhaps it's fitting that Lamborghini, Porsche and Rolls-Royce dealerships have opened near the Moscow apartment building where the Soviet leader once lived. For a correspondent back in Moscow for the first extended time since 1993, these symbols of luxury are particularly jarring.