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Civilian deaths lay on Russia - Ukrainian president

Saturday, February 04, 2017 - 01:43

Ukraine's president, Petro Poroshenko, says the shelling of civilians in the country's conflict with Russian-backed seperatists is solely Moscow's responsibility. Matthew Larotonda reports.

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The resurgence of fighting in eastern Ukraine is threatening to undermine two years of efforts to pacify the region. That's according to Russia's foreign ministry on Friday, which has said Ukrainian forces are shelling civilians in their conflict against the Russian-backed seperatists - a violation of the Geneva convention. Of course Kiev places the spike in violence squarely on Moscow, the heaviest in months. (SOUNDBITE) (Ukrainian) UKRAINE PRESIDENT PETRO POROSHENKO, SAYING: "The shelling of residential areas and deaths of civilians, wounded journalists, and deaths of Ukrainian servicemen, lies with the Russian side and the fighters that it supports." Both sides have hit around this government held town. Despite a ceasefire reached in 2015, the fighting has never fully stopped. Near one village the combatants are said to be only 400 metres apart. European monitors seen here, examining a crater from another munitions strike. They fear a humanitarian and ecological disaster is about to explode. Thousands have been left without power and water supplies cut. Even humanitarian aid to the estimated 18,000 living here is threatened, in this deep eastern European winter. It's a conflict on Europe's doorstep. But on the otherside of the world eyes are on these two men: U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladmir Putin. This week Trump's UN ambassador, Nikki Haley, telling the body sanctions placed on Russia during the Obama administration would stay in place. Unless Russia returns the Crimea peninsula to Ukraine, its annexation sparking the conflict.

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Civilian deaths lay on Russia - Ukrainian president

Saturday, February 04, 2017 - 01:43