Hollande, Merkel push for Ukraine peace

imgFrench President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will travel to a Ukraine peace summit in Minsk on Wednesday to “try everything right to the end,” the French presidency said.
The two leaders spoke to each other by phone “for a quick update on the situation”, ahead of flying to Minsk to join Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko for the talks aimed at ending the 10-month conflict, the Elysee Palace said.
Fighting in Ukraine has killed at least 45 people in the last 24 hours, Kyiv officials and rebel authorities said.
At least 19 soldiers died and 78 were wounded, military spokesman Vladyslav Seleznyov told journalists in Kyiv, including five troops in a rocket attack on the east Ukrainian hub of Kramatorsk.
Another 11 people were killed in that attack, the first time rebels have struck the government’s eastern military headquarters, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said on his website on Feb. 11.
In the rebel stronghold of Donetsk, city officials said that eight people had been killed, including five in a mortar strike on the city during the Wednesday morning rush hour.

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