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At Least 11 Civilians Die In Shelling As Ukraine Summit Called Off

The summit’s failures were underscored Tuesday by a new outbreak of violence in eastern Ukraine.

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World leaders attempting to reach a cease-fire deal in the conflict in Ukraine scrapped plans for further talks this week due to lack of progress, as at least 10 civilians died Tuesday in the latest round of violence.

Sergei Karpukhin / Via Reuterse

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov speaks in Moscow.

The foreign ministers from Ukraine, Russia, Germany, and France decided not to hold talks Thursday after there was little progress on Monday toward a truce between the Ukrainian government and Russia-backed separatists, Reuters reported.

"The differences in opinion made it clear how difficult it is to make progress towards a political solution," German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said, according to Reuters.

The leaders agreed that "further work needs to be done" before another meeting should be scheduled. According to Reuters, the ongoing issues include the fact that neither side is fully implementing an agreed-to truce.

The summit's failures were underscored Tuesday by a new outbreak of violence in eastern Ukraine.

The Donetsk regional administration, which answers to the Ukrainian government, told the Associated Press that Russian separatists attacked a checkpoint near the town of Volnovakha as a passenger bus was passing through it. At least 11 civilians — one of whom was a 14-year-old girl — died and 17 were injured, the administration said.

"Two days ago I honored the victims of the terrorist attack in Paris alongside the leaders of major world nations and millions of French people," Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said in a statement, referring to an enormous commemoration of the Charlie Hebdo shooting on Sunday, which he joined alongside Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and over 40 other world leaders. "The mass shooting of people in Paris and Volnovakha are events of the same type. The civilized world must come together in the struggle against terrorism."

Poroshenko said he would further increase security at the semiofficial border between Ukraine and the rebel-held territories, where Ukrainian troops have built fortifications. Residents of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics, significant numbers of whom are elderly or infirm, are already restricted to seven crossing points — complete with passport control — if they want to cross over to Ukrainian territory to claim pensions or manage their bank accounts.

Poroshenko later tweeted that European Parliament President Martin Schulz would lead EU attempts to designate the rebels as terrorist groups, a longstanding demand from Kiev.

@MartinSchulz has confirmed that on Thursday European Parliament will urge EU leaders to list so-called LNR - DNR as terrorist organizations

Петро Порошенко@poroshenkoFollow

@MartinSchulz has confirmed that on Thursday European Parliament will urge EU leaders to list so-called LNR - DNR as terrorist organizations

8:07 PM - 13 Jan 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

Rebel leaders told Russian media they were not responsible for the attack and incapable of reaching Volnovakha, a Ukrainian-controlled town 37 miles south of the main rebel stronghold, Donetsk, from their artillery positions.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Treasury Department said Tuesday that it is offering the Ukrainian government $2 billion in loan guarantees in 2015 provided that the country stays on track with a reform program it agreed to with the International Monetary Fund.

The agency said in a statement it would provide Ukraine with $1 billion in the first half and an additional $1 billion in the second half if the agreement's terms were met.

Whether Ukraine is able to comply adequately with the plan remains to be seen. Analyst Leonid Bershidky wrote in a column for Bloomberg View last week that the government has so far "dragged its feet on reform and taken a gradualist approach to urgently needed change."

The U.N. estimates that more than 4,700 people have died so far in the conflict, according to the AP.

Max Seddon contributed reporting.

Stephanie McNeal is a social news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Stephanie McNeal at stephanie.mcneal@buzzfeed.com.

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