Russia concerned about casualties of bombardments in Donbass, Putin tells Poroshenko

Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke by phone with his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko and expressed concern about growing civilian casualties after Ukrainian bombardments in Donbass, the Kremlin’s press service said on Thursday. Putin raised the issue of “worsening tensions in Donbass and growing civilian casualties as a result of more frequent bombardments by the Ukrainian military,” according to the statement. The leaders exchanged opinions on the implementation of Russia’s initiative for establishing a special UN mission for the protection of the OSCE monitors in Ukraine. The issue of exchanging persons held captive and visits by human rights commissioners from both countries to Russian citizens in custody in Ukraine and Ukrainian citizens in custody in Russia was touched upon, the Kremlin added. The work in the Normandy Four format on eastern Ukraine was also discussed, according to the Ukrainian side.