Russian President Vladimir Putin blamed on Friday what he said were Kiev's "criminal orders" for a surge in fighting in east Ukraine in which civilians have been killed.
The United Nations' human rights office said on Friday 262 people had been killed in intensified fighting in east Ukraine in the last
nine days, which it called the "most deadly period" since a ceasefire agreement last September.
"The Kiev authorities have given an official order to start large-scale military operations practically throughout the whole line of contact. The result is tens of killed and wounded, not only among the military on both sides but... among civilians," Putin told senior state officials in televised comments.