Aug 31, 2014 10:23 PM by Associated Press
KIEV, Ukraine (AP) - Russian President Vladimir Putin is calling on Ukraine to immediately start talks on a political solution to the crisis in eastern Ukraine.
Putin told national TV network Channel 1 on Sunday that Ukraine should "hold substantive, meaningful talks, not about technical issues but about the question of the political organization of society and statehood in southeast Ukraine." He said the goal should be to safeguard the "legitimate interests of those people who live there."
Hours later, A Ukrainian spokesman said a border guard vessel operating in the Azov Sea was fired upon with artillery by land-based forces..
The attack took place amid heightened concern that the pro-Russian rebels are trying to take control of the land bridge between Russia and the Crimean Peninsula which Russia annexed in March.
Until this week, the area along the Azov Sea coast had escaped the fighting.