Angela Merkel said she expects EU sanctions against Russia to be renewed as the bloc held summit talks with Petro Poroshenko
Merkel said Monday that EU members agreed in March that removal of sanctions, which expire in July, must be tied to adherence to the Minsk peace accord.
Ukraine's recent losses to separatist forces underscore how much its military is outmanned and outgunned by an adversary backed by Russian might and a willingness to commit troops and arms to the fight.
Hundreds of exhausted Ukrainian Forces Staged a Chaotic Retreat from a Strategic Town Besieged by pro-Russian RebelsWednesday, 18 February 2015 15:29
The scenes from the railway hub Debaltseve - with Ukrainian soldiers facing fire even as they withdrew over frozen fields - were a stunning reminder of the region’s instability less than week after the announcement of another cease-fire bid.
Pro-Russian Rebels Battling Ukrainian Forces Near the Russian Border Sought to Modify a New Truce DealMonday, 16 February 2015 15:18
Rebel commander Eduard Basurin told reporters that separatist fighters would not observe the truce in the key railway town of Debaltseve, where thousands of Ukraine troops are believed encircled by rebel fighters.
Fighting between Ukrainian forces and Russia-backed rebel militias in the east of the country intensified on Saturday as fears grew for the durability of a ceasefire agreement that took effect at 12:01am on Sunday local time (10:01pm GMT on Saturday).
The cease-fire period for fighting in Ukraine began one minute after midnight Sunday, but there are no immediate indications of whether either side in the conflict that has killed more than 5,300 people is observing it.