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Poroshenko Cuts Short Germany Trip Amid Renewed Ukraine Fighting


German Chancellor Angela Merkel (left) and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko pause for a moment at the site of the Christmas market terrorist attack at Breidscheidplatz in Berlin on January 30.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has cut short a working visit to Germany to oversee an emergency situation that has developed around the eastern Ukrainian town of Avdiivka.

Officials said on January 30 that there was heavy shelling from Russia-supported militants in Avdiivka, near the city of Donetsk overnight.

At least 12 people were reported killed, including three Ukrainian soldiers in the latest violence, despite the fact of an "indefinite" cease-fire was agreed last month.

A spokesman for Poroshenko told Interfax that the situation around Avdiivka has become "an emergency situation verging on a humanitarian disaster."

Earlier, Poroshenko met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, telling her that the West should extend and strengthen sanctions against Russia if there is no progress in implementing the Minsk agreements on resolving the conflict.

Poroshenko also discussed the conflict in eastern Ukraine with German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel

The conflict between Ukrainian government forces and the separatists has killed more than 9,750 civilians and combatants in eastern Ukraine since April 2014.

Based on reporting by BBC, RIA Novosti, and Interfax