Moscow says its jets have carried out 18 strikes against the Islamic State group since Thursday, but doubts remain over the real target.
In President Assad's heartland the Russian decision to start air strikes on Syrian rebel positions is being hailed by ordinary people, who hope they mark the beginning of the end of a long war.
Russia confirms it has begun air strikes in Syria, just hours after parliament granted Vladimir Putin the right to use military force in the war-torn country.
Pressure is growing on countries outside Europe - particularly the Gulf states - to take in more refugees from the Syrian civil war. What are the facts?
US Secretary of State John Kerry warns Moscow against "enhanced military build-up" in Syria as Bulgaria closes its airspace to Russian planes bound for the war-torn country.
A Ukrainian national guardsman dies and scores more are injured as grenades are thrown at a demonstration against concessions to pro-Russian separatists.
The Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs has published a guide warning Russians about the "increasing incidences of trauma and even death when trying to take a unique selfie".
Fighting in Ukraine has killed more than 6,500 people. Filmmaker Patrick Wells travelled to south east Ukraine and got unprecedented access to forces on both sides of the ceasefire line.