Little sign of progress as Obama, Putin speak


WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke for the first time in more than two weeks but showed

little sign of agreement Monday, with the U.S. leader urging pro-Russian forces to de-escalate the situation in eastern Ukraine and Putin denying that Moscow was interfering in the region.


The White House said Russia initiated the phone call, which came as pro-Russian forces deepened their insurgency in Ukraine's east, seizing more than a dozen government buildings.


"The president expressed grave concern about Russian government support for the actions of armed, pro-Russian separatists," the White House said in a description of Obama's call with Putin. (AP)