>> Fresh finger pointing in Ukraine. Russia's foreign ministry on Thursday accusing Kiev of violating the Geneva Convention by shelling civilians in the east of the country. It also says Ukraine is using weapons banned under the Minsk peace deal, but Kiev said it's Russia to blame, as fresh fighting kill civilians on both sides of the frontline.
Damage from the fighting has cut power and water supplies to thousands of residents at a time of freezing winter temperatures, prompting warnings of a potential humanitarian crisis from aid agencies. The recent clashes have put global attention back on the conflict. NATO and the European Union calling on Russia to use its influence with separatist rebels to stop the violence.
Kiev trying to persuade the US and Europe to maintain sanctions on Russia over its role in Crimea. The US Ambassador to the United Nations strongly critical of Moscow.>> I must condemn the aggressive actions of Russia. It is unfortunate because it is a replay of far to many instances over many years in which United States representatives have needed to do that.
>> Nikki Haley saying sanctions against Russia will continue, until Moscow returns Crimea to Kiev. But there's great uncertainty over Donald Trump's intentions. The new U.S. president has praised Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, and talked of reviewing sanctions. But U.S. Senator John McCain says Russia instigated the violence to test Trump, and urged the President to give Ukraine the support it needs to defend itself.
Fighting between pro-Russian separatists and government forces first broke out in April 2014. Moscow denies all accusations that it supports separatists with troops and weapons.