Putin awarded 8th-degree black belt in karate

Russian President Vladimir Putin has been awarded an eighth-degree black belt in the martial arts sport of Kyokushin karate, the Russian news agency ITAR-TASS reports. Kyokushin is a style of stand-up, full contact karate in which the participants wear no protective gear. The only restriction during fighting bans striking an opponent in the head with hands.

Russia has moved Mig-31 interceptors close to Ukrainian border

An unspecified amount of Mig-31s based at Perm have been deployed to Millerovo airfield, in the Rostov region, close to the border with Ukraine. This is a sign that Moscow may be preparing to actively control the airspace over Luhansk Oblast. The MiG-31 is a two-seater derivative of the MiG-25 in service since 1983.