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Ukraine: Hopes of a ceasefire focus on Friday talks in Minsk

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Ukraine: Hopes of a ceasefire focus on Friday talks in Minsk


Reports of more fighting in the Donetsk region appear to have dispelled any talk of a ceasefire on the ground in eastern Ukraine.

Pro-Russian rebels have kept up their mortar attacks on Ukrainian positions in response to earlier Ukrainian fire.

Wednesday’s statement that Presidents Poroshenko and Putin had agreed a truce was ambiguous and gave no indication as to when the fighting would stop.

Ukraine’s Petro Poroshenko later called on all sides to support an initiative agreed by himself and Vladimir Putin to get the so-called contact group meeting in Minsk on Friday to discuss a step-by-step peace process.

On a visit to Mongolia, President Putin described his views as very close to those of his Ukrainian counterpart.

However the US has already decried Putin’s proposals as lacking a major requirement for peace – that being the complete withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukrainian territory.

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