Ukraine Pres to Putin: End Fighting

Ukraine Pres to Putin: End Fighting

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) -- Ukraine's new leader says he has urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to work to halt fighting in eastern Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said he asked Putin Wednesday to "influence the other side so that they stop killing our people." Zelenskiy's call came a day after four Ukrainian soldiers were killed by pro-Russia insurgents.

Zelenskiy said he expects to speak to French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel later in the day to push for a meeting with them and Putin to search for a peaceful settlement.

The conflict in eastern Ukraine erupted in April 2014 after Russia's annexation of Crimea, and has killed more than 13,000 people. Germany and France helped broker a 2015 agreement that helped reduce fighting, but peace efforts have stalled.