Burnt equipment in Uglegorsk.
© RIABurnt equipment in Uglegorsk. In the background, a convoy of buses from the DPR is heading to Debaltsevo to evacuate local residents from the combat zone.
Hostilities can only be suspended if "irreversible" steps are taken by Kiev, Vladimir Putin has said

A ceasefire between Moscow and Kiev can only be agreed if Ukraine takes certain "irreversible" steps that would be "acceptable" for Russia, President Vladimir Putin has said. Otherwise, a cessation of hostilities would be used by Kiev to rearm itself and get ready to continue the conflict, he added.

The president made the remarks during a press conference at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Astana, Kazakhstan on Thursday.

"We simply cannot declare a ceasefire in the hope that the opposing side will take some positive steps," Putin said.

"We cannot allow the adversary to take advantage of this ceasefire to improve its positions, rearm itself, fill up its army through forced mobilization, and get prepared to continue the armed conflict," he added.