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US, Russian presidents not discussed Gorbachev’s Ukraine letter - Putin’s aide

January 24, 2014, 19:54 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Gorbachev addressed a letter to the Russian and U.S. president asking them “to find an opportunity and take a decisive step in order to help Ukraine to return to the path of peaceful development"
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MOSCOW, January 24. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin and his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama did not discuss a letter from former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, who asked them to help broker resolution of the conflict in Ukraine, Putin’s aide Yury Ushakov said on Friday.

Earlier in the week, Gorbachev, 82, a Nobel Peace laureate, addressed a letter to the Russian and U.S. president asking them “to find an opportunity and take a decisive step in order to help Ukraine to return to the path of the peaceful development.”

“I can say that Putin and Obama did talk over a telephone. The issue in question was not discussed,” Ushakov said.

The official confirmed that President Putin’s administration received the letter from Gorbachev, adding “I do not know whether it is necessary to reply.”

According to various reports, at least three protesters are believed to have been killed in violent clashes with police since Sunday, when hundreds of people gathered in central Kiev to protest against new legislation on violations of public order.

Video reports from the scene showed people wearing masks and helmets to hurl Molotov cocktails and chunks of concrete at police. According to the country’s Interior Ministry at least 170 police officers had been injured since Sunday, with over 80 of them still in hospitals.

Radical protesters in Kiev also seized the City Hall, the Trade Union building and the Agriculture Ministry’s building.

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