U.S. condemns Russian Federation for rise in Ukraine fighting

In her first public remarks at the UN Security Council, Haley said: "We do want to better our relations with Russian Federation".

"We do want to better our relations with Russia", Haley said, echoing President Donald Trump who has also said he wants a better relationship with President Vladimir Putin. Though the usage of tanks from either party is strictly prohibited under a September 2015 truce between Ukraine and pro-Russia rebel forces, Kiev has accused the rebels of using such weapons during this week's escalation of violence.

At least 12 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed since Monday in clashes around the government-held city of Avdiivka, north of the Russian-occupied Donetsk region.

"These sanctions were imposed due to their behavior in Crimea, eastern Ukraine and now we know they've been messing around in our elections as well", McConnell said in an interview with Politico last Friday.

The reports come as a battle between Ukraine's army and Russian-backed separatists rages on in freezing winter temperatures, leaving thousands of residents with power shortages in the area.

"The surge of fighting in this part of Ukraine, the loss of lives, the destruction of infrastructure, and the crisis are growing".

Haley called for an immediate end to fighting and "full and immediate implementation" of the Minsk peace agreements.

Mr Nunn is said to have picked up the injury during fighting between government troops and Russia-backed rebels in the town of Avdeyeka in the east of the country. The cease-fire must be honored.

The Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko keeps saying that the Ukrainian Armed Forces are defending from the so-called "Russian aggression".

The conflict has killed almost 10,000 people since 2014, more than 2,000 of whom were civilians. Salvos from multiple grenade launchers were heard during the night, according to the Associated Press.

Negotiators from Ukraine and Russian Federation agreed in the Belarussian capital Minsk on Wednesday to call for an immediate truce.

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