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Putin stresses need for immediate end to punitive operation in south-east Ukraine

In a telephone conversation with Italian PM Matteo Renzi, Russian President Vladimir Putin streesed the need to establishm a peaceful dialogue between Kiev and representatives of south-eastern regions

MOSCOW, May 27. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin said during a telephone talk with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on Tuesday that a punitive army operation in south-eastern Ukraine should be stopped immediately .

During the telephone talk, the Russian leader and the Italian premier “exchanged their opinions on the Ukraine situation in the context of the presidential elections held on May 25,” the Kremlin press office said.

“Vladimir Putin stressed the need for an immediate end to the punitive army operation in south-eastern regions and the establishment of Kiev’s peaceful dialogue with representatives of the regions,” the Kremlin press office said.

“The sides expressed mutual condolences over the tragic death of Italian journalist (Andrea) Rocchelli and his accompanying person, Russian national (Andrei) Mironov,” the Kremlin press office said.

Italian photo reporter Andrea Rocchelli and his Russian interpreter Andrei Mironov were killed in a mortar fire in the east Ukrainian town of Sloviansk surrounded by the Ukrainian military while French photographer William Roguelon was wounded in the leg.

Rocchelli, 30, was specializing in “hot spots” across the world. He made photo reports from Afghanistan, Libya and Algeria.