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Wednesday
Aug272014

Russian and Ukrainian President Discuss Crisis in Eastern Ukraine

iStock/Thinkstock(MOSCOW) -- Amid news that 10 Russian paratroopers had been captured in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko met for the first time since the conflict between the two countries began last winter.

Neither side spoke about what happened during the two-hour session following an economic summit in Minsk although Putin told reporters beforehand that both he and his Ukrainian counterpart feel that hostilities can't be solved militarily.

Putin's press secretary also mentioned that the president would bring up the "Ukrainian domestic crisis and the terrible humanitarian disaster in the east of the country, as well as the need for a ceasefire."

Poroshenko has accused Moscow of both encouraging and supplying separatists with arms in eastern Ukraine's bid to join the Russian Federation. The crisis was spurred by the ousting of Ukraine's pro-Russian president last February and the decision by Crimea to secede from the central government in Kiev.

Since then, more than 2,000 deaths have been reported with hundreds of thousands of people displaced as the Ukraine military has stepped up attacks on rebels in the east.

Adding to the tensions was the capture Monday of Russian paratroopers near the Russian border in the Donetsk region. They were seen being interrogated on a website.

The Russian government said the soldiers accidentally strayed into Ukrainian territory while Kiev accused them of being on "a mission."


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