Leaders hold Ukraine peace talks as fighting surges




 
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February 12th, 2015  
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Topic: Leaders hold Ukraine peace talks as fighting surges


By Pavel Polityuk and Elizabeth Pineau MINSK (Reuters) - The leaders of France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine held peace talks in Belarus deep into the night, while in Ukraine pro-Moscow separatists tightened the pressure on Kiev by launching some of the war's worst fighting. Ukraine's army said on Wednesday that 19 of its soldiers were killed in pro-Russian separatist assaults near the railway town of Debaltseve, some of the worst losses it has reported in nine months of war. Rebels who tore up a five-month-old truce in January are trying to encircle government forces in Debaltseve, a strategic location that would let them link up their main strongholds. Fighting has already killed more than 5,000 people, and Washington is now openly talking of arming Ukraine to defend itself from "Russian aggression", raising the prospect of a proxy war in the heart of Europe between Cold War foes.




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