United Nation, United States: The UN Security Council will meet next week to discuss the flareup of violence in Ukraine, diplomats said Friday. A meeting of the 15-member council will be held on Wednesday at the request of Lithuania.
There has been an upsurge in violence this week, with fighting around Donetsk airport on Thursday forcing monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe to turn back.
At least six Ukrainian soldiers and five civilians were killed on Thursday and Friday, and 18 others were wounded, officials said. The council and Secretary General Ban Ki-moon have strongly condemned a rocket attack on a bus earlier this week that left 11 civilians dead. It will be the 27th meeting called by the Security Council to address the crisis in east Ukraine, where pro-Moscow separatists are fighting Kiev's government troops.
Ukraine and the West accuse Russia of backing the separatists, but Moscow has denied any direct involvement. More than 4,700 people have died in nine months of fighting despite a peace deal reached in September.