Russian and Ukrainian officials expressed cautious optimism following discussions in which Russia pushed for Ukraine to take back legal control of eastern territories.
The Russian president has declared that all military deaths -- in peacetime as well as wartime -- will be classified as state secrets, with violations punishable by up to seven years in prison.
When the people of the Donetsk area protested imposed changes, Kyiv launched an “anti-terrorist” operation against them. I saw firsthand these “terrorists,” who had decided to build something different from the oligarchic regime. Theirs is an enormous and difficult task.
Civilians are fleeing parts of east Ukraine as fighting there reaches its worst point since a shaky cease-fire was established in February.
Moscow denies its soldiers are crossing the border into Ukraine. But 20-year-old Russian conscript Dorji Batomunkuev told reporters how he was seriously injured near the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk.
Just in time for the holidays, Kiev has limited access to credit cards and bank accounts, and promised to cut off funds for hospitals and schools.
This weekend some truly bizarre elections, featuring armed soldiers and artillery fire, were held in the self-styled People's Republic of Donetsk and the People's Republic of Luhansk.
The Kremlin stated Wednesday that although Russia "is not party" to the ongoing battles in the Donbass region of Ukraine, Presidents Vladimir Putin and Petro Poroshenko "coincided significantly" on ways to "settle the conflict" during a morning phone conversation.
The beefed-up presence of Russian forces on the Russia-Ukraine border in recent days has gotten the attention of NATO officials, who have counted some 20,000 troops in "battle-ready formations," the Financial Times reported on Tuesday.
Ukraine said Tuesday it had recaptured the airport in the eastern city of Donetsk after a day of airstrikes and fierce gun battles with pro-Moscow separatist militants that left dozens of people dead.