October 3, 2014 / 5:38 PM / in 4 years

Violence in eastern Ukraine strains ceasefire: U.S. official

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Violence in eastern Ukraine between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatists has put a strain on a ceasefire clinched nearly a month ago between the sides, the State Department said on Friday.

A local resident talks to a Ukrainian serviceman in front of his home, which was damaged by shelling a day before in the village of Pisky, near Donetsk in eastern Ukraine October 3, 2014. REUTERS/David Mdzinarishvili

“Russia must use its influence with the separatists and end these attacks immediately,” spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters at a daily briefing. “Clearly recent events have put a strain on the ceasefire,” she added.

Psaki said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry held a 10-minute phone call earlier on Friday with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov to “express his concern about intensifying violence in eastern Ukraine.”

Reporting by Lesley Wroughton; Editing by Susan Heavey

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