Russia calls on UN to support Ukraine ceasefire

A member of the "Donbass" self-defence battalion takes part in a training at a base of the National Guard of Ukraine. Credit: Reuters\Valentyn Ogirenk

Russia has called an emergency meeting of the United Nations' most powerful body, seeking an immediate halt to the deadly clashes in eastern Ukraine - after months of blocking any Security Council action.

Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said Moscow now wanted Security Council action to end weeks of violence in Russian-speaking eastern Ukraine between government troops and pro-Russian insurgents, a move immediately denounced by the United States as "hypocritical".