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Ukraine

Eastern Ukraine fighting spreads a day on from Putin, Poroshenko meeting

Ukrainian authorities have made further allegations of Russian incursions into the country's conflict-ridden east. It comes despite assertions by the Russian and Ukrainian presidents that the fighting needed to end.

Ukraine on Wednesday accused Russia of sending more tanks and weapons into eastern Ukraine, with a military spokesperson saying a group of Russian soldiers had entered the small town of Amvrosiyivka.

"Five armored infantry carriers and one Kamaz truck entered Amvrosiyivka with men in them," military spokesman Andriy Lysenko told reporters in Kyiv.

The town is not far from where Ukraine detained 10 Russian soldiers on Monday. Russia later said those soldiers had crossed the border by mistake.

"If this tactical group got lost and accidentally came into Ukraine like the paratroopers of the 98th paratroop division then it remains for us to remind them that they can return to Russia, taking an easterly direction," Lysenko remarked.

Russia, which has denied supporting the separatists with weapons, equipment, personnel and training, did not immediately comment on the allegation.

Heavy shellfire was also reported on Wednesday in the coastal town of Novoazovsk, about 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) from the Russian border on the Azov Sea, which has been the site of clashes over the past few days. The town, strategically located on the road between Russia and the Russian-annexed territory of Crimea, had previously been spared the violence which has impacted the region since April.

Little effect from talks

The accusations of further military incursions and fighting indicated that Tuesday's in-person talks between Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin, the first since June, appeared to have little impact on the ground.

In Minsk, the two leaders claimed progress on efforts to end the conflict.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman said on Wednesday that the Minsk meeting was a good first step but that concrete measures must follow.

"It is overdue that this border is finally secured, that any manner of military support for the separatists across tes border is stopped," Steffen Seibert told reporters. "Russia has a big responsibility for that," he said.

More aid from Russia

Meanwhile, further deployments of aid supplies from Russia are planned for eastern Ukraine, following an initial delivery earlier this month.

Kyiv had expressed fears that deliveries of humanitarian aid would be used as a cover to supply the pro-Moscow separatists.

But Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said he expected to send a second truck convoy into the separatist-held territories "in the nearest future. And I am sure that it will not be the last because assistance there is needed in huge amounts."

se/msh (AFP, Reuters, AP, dpa)

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