Fighting intensifies in eastern Ukraine

Fighting has started again in eastern Ukraine between government troops and separatist rebels, Ukrainian military officials said.

Yesterday a missile killed at least 15 refugees who were trying to flee the area "burning them alive". More bodies may still be recovered.

This comes days after a convoy of aid supplies travelled to the country from Moscow but Ukraine is still to let them in over fears it could spark an invasion.

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Merkel urges Putin to 'help defuse crisis in Ukraine'

German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to help defuse the crisis in Ukraine and halt the stream of weapons and armed personnel into the country, her office said in a statement.

Speaking to Mr Putin on phone, she also expressed her hope that a convoy of aid would reach its target quickly, in order to stop people's suffering.

The chancellor expressed her concern about the situation in the east of Ukraine. In view of the need for an urgent ceasefire she urged the president to help de-escalate the situation and in particular to halt the stream of weapons, military advisers and armed personnel into Ukraine.

– Angela Merkel's spokesperson

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