Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko was cutting short a foreign trip on Wednesday after Kiev accused Russian regular forces of attacking its troops in the country’s east.
The accusation against Moscow on Tuesday was one of the boldest assertions yet by Ukraine of direct Russian military involvement since the conflict between pro-Russian separatists and government forces began more than nine months ago.
“In spite of preliminary agreements, Ukrainian military units were attacked in the north of the anti-terrorist operational zone by regular military formations of the armed forces of Russia,” the spokesman, Andriy Lysenko, said.
However Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that he would seek an immediate ceasefire in east Ukraine at talks in Berlin on Wednesday with the foreign ministers of Ukraine, Germany and France.
Lavrov told a news conference a ceasefire agreement reached last September was failing in east Ukraine partly because a separation line agreed between the Ukrainian government and the separatists was not reflected by the sides’ actual positions.