Interfax reported that talks to end the uprising in eastern Ukraine, bringing together a former Ukrainian president, the Russian ambassador and pro-Russian rebel leaders along with European officials, have begun.
The talks started Monday in Donetsk, the biggest city in the rebellious east. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko laid out his peace plan on Friday, declaring a unilateral cease-fire in fighting to uproot the mutiny that has engulfed the nation's industrial east for the past two months.
Russia welcomed the peace plan, but urged the Ukrainian government to engage in talks with the insurgents, who have declared their regions independent, seized official buildings and fought government troops.
Ukraine's former President Leonid Kuchma will participate in the talks, Poroshenko's office said. Kuchma, who served as president from 1994 to 2005, comes from the country's east.