Hollande and Merkel will 'try everything' at Ukraine summit: France
MINSK - Agence France-Presse
A woman walks past a destroyed bus in Donetsk on February 11, 2015. AFP PhotoFrench 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 kills 45 ahead of summit
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.
Rebels, who rarely give a military toll, said on Tuesday they had lost seven fighters.
The leaders of France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine were to meet later Wednesday in the Belarussian capital Minsk in the hope of agreeing a peace deal to end 10 months of fighting in which at least 5,300 people have died.