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Ukraine peace talks collapse as fighting rages

Ukraine peace talks collapse as fighting rages

Media wait on January 31, 2015 outside the presidential residence in Minsk during talks aimed at ending the fighting in eastern Ukraine

Peace talks aimed at halting rising bloodshed in eastern Ukraine ended in failure Saturday, with Kiev’s envoy saying pro-Russian separatists wrecked a deal by refusing to discuss an immediate ceasefire. The delayed talks in Minsk were “thwarted” after top rebel leaders stayed away and their negotiators also refused to discuss withdrawing heavy weapons, former Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma told Interfax Ukraine news agency. The negotiator for the rebel Donetsk People’s Republic, Denis Pushilin, however, blamed Kiev for causing the collapse of the talks and said insurgent leaders would only agree a deal if Kiev’s forces halt fire first.

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