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Ukrainian president willing to hold talks

Ukraine's new president-elect has promised to negotiate an end to a pro-Russia insurgency in the east, saying he was willing to begin talks with Moscow.

But the Kiev government also launched an air strike on militants who had occupied a major airport.

Russia quickly welcomed the offer for talks from Petro Poroshenko – known for his pragmatism – raising hopes that his election will ease the crisis that has fuelled tensions not seen since the end of the Cold War.

But Ukraine's military launched air strikes against separatists who had taken over the airport in the eastern capital of Donetsk in what appeared to be the most visible operation of the Ukrainian troops since they started a crackdown on insurgents last month.

Vladislav Seleznyov, a spokesman for Kiev's anti-terrorist operation, wrote on his Facebook account that the military had given an ultimatum to the armed men who had occupied the airport to lay down their arms.

He said the gunmen didn't comply and the military launched an air strike.

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