Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the Ukrainian authorities of being behind the recent escalation of the fighting east of the country.
On Tuesday, Putin took a dip in the Black Sea by the Crimean peninsula that Russia annexed the last year.
After the bath, he had a chat with local reporters.
- Unfortunately we see an escalation of the conflict. Those responsible for that is not the Donbas militia, but its counterpart, Putin said referring to the central government in Kiev.
- I really hope it does not come to direct full scale clashes, the president said.
The UN estimates that the violence in the country has killed more than 6,800 people since April 2014 and has driven at least 1.4 million from their homes.
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