A new wave of violence in eastern Ukraine has prompted the leaders of France Germany and Ukraine to call a crisis meeting for Monday in Berlin. President Putin will not be attending.
All three have expressed concern over the flare up in fighting which undermines the peace agreement worked out in Minsk last February.
Earlier this week at least two Ukrainian soldiers and several civilians were killed in clashes between Kyiv’s forces and Russian-backed separatists .
Rebels have been accused of using heavy weapons including Grad rockets in attacks on government targets while Kyiv troops are said to have shelled civilian homes.
More than 6.500 people have been killed in the conflict which erupted in April 2014 after Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimea Peninsula in reaction to the fall of a Moscow.backed president to mass protests in Kyiv.