Russia And Ukraine Try Diplomacy As Fighting Continues

A Ukrainian fighter jet shot down, a Russian aid convoy allowed in, and fighting in the east continues as diplomatic talks start in Berlin.

Russia And Ukraine Try Diplomacy As Fighting Continues
Fox News

As Russian and Ukrainian diplomats were preparing to meet for talks in Berlin Sunday, relations on the ground in Ukraine were anything but diplomatic. 

BBC: "The military in Ukraine says that separatists rebels have shot down a government fighter jet near the city of Luhansk in the east of the country. The military spokesman said the pilot had ejected from the aircraft safely."

As Bloomberg reports, the downing of that MiG 29 jet brings the total number of Ukrainian aircraft downed to more than 20, using — according to Ukrainian officials — the same weapons that brought down MH17.

That incident happened as the Ukrainian military stepped up its offensive in eastern Ukraine, with government forces capturing a police station in Luhansk amid heavy fighting. (Video via Fox News)  

All of this as the Ukrainian government gives the OK for a convoy of trucks that Russia says are carrying aid to enter the country. That's more than a week after the convoy left Moscow. (Video via RT‚Äč)

Nevertheless, hopes had been high that Ukraine and Russia could find a diplomatic agreement.  

CNN: "They sit down at the table to try to discuss this situation, possibly defuse the tension before this voltile situation gets any worse."

Sky News reports much of the talks between the Ukrainian and Russian foreign ministers will focus on clearing up allegations of Russia's involvement with separatist rebels, including "boasts by a rebel leader in [Donetsk] that he had recently received hundreds of fighters trained in Russia to bolster the flagging rebellion."

The rebel leader in question later backtracked from that statement on Russian television saying the fighters in question were Ukrainian, and that rebels hadn't received any tanks or equipment from Russia.

Russia has so far denied any involvement with rebels in Ukraine, despite claims by U.S. and Ukrainian officials that Russian artillery has fired on Ukrainian forces. 

There were even reports from Ukrainian officials that their forces had destroyed parts of a Russian military convoy in Ukraine, claims that Ukraine has played down ahead of the diplomatic talks as The Wall Street Journal reports. 

Those talks will be mediated by French and German officials.