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East Ukraine Rebels Say New Peace Talks Planned to End Violence

Pro-Russian rebels play table tennis at their base in Donetsk, on Dec. 18, 2014.

A meeting of a so-called contact group aimed at ending violence in eastern Ukraine is planned for Wednesday, Russian state television quoted Denis Pushilin, vice speaker of the separatists' "People's Council" leadership body, as saying.

The meeting was planned for 3 p.m. Moscow time in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, Rossiya 24 TV channel said.

Talks in Minsk between Russia, Ukraine and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in September brokered a ceasefire agreement between Kiev and pro-Russian rebels.

The truce was repeatedly broken by both sides but violence has eased significantly in December.

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