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Poroshenko Consults Generals As Ukraine Peace Talks Falter

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko convened his generals on August 4 amid signs that his latest bid to negotiate an end to clashes with pro-Russian rebels is faltering while violence is rising.

"We need to clearly determine a plan for strengthening our defenses in case of the conflict's escalation," the presidency quoted Poroshenko as telling members of Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council.

Council Secretary Oleksandr Turchynov reported the death of three more soldiers in overnight rocket attacks. Kyiv said four of its troops had been killed on August 3, and the rebels reported one loss in the past two days.

The increased violence occured as peace talks in Minsk appeared to be unraveling.

Poroshenko sent his personal envoy to the talks on August 3 to discuss a new weapons withdrawal agreement with negotiators from the rebels and Moscow.

But the European-mediated talks fell apart due to what one separatist said was Kyiv's refusal to pull back its forces from four strategic sites. The rebels accused Kyiv of "sabotaging" the peace talks.

Based on reporting by AFP, Kyiv Post, and Interfax