Europe

Russia, Germany, France raise alarm over fighting in Ukraine

  • Tanks ride along main Khreshchatyk Street during a rehearsal of a military parade, prior to Independence Day in Kiev, Ukraine, Monday, Aug. 22, 2016. Ukraine will mark the 25th anniversary of the Independence Day on Aug. 24. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

    Tanks ride along main Khreshchatyk Street during a rehearsal of a military parade, prior to Independence Day in Kiev, Ukraine, Monday, Aug. 22, 2016. Ukraine will mark the 25th anniversary of the Independence Day on Aug. 24. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)  (The Associated Press)

  • A soldier shares a tender moment with his girlfriend while other soldiers rest during a rehearsal of a military parade a few days before the Independence Day in Kiev, Ukraine, Monday, Aug. 22, 2016. Ukraine to mark the 25th anniversary of the Independence Day on Aug. 24. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

    A soldier shares a tender moment with his girlfriend while other soldiers rest during a rehearsal of a military parade a few days before the Independence Day in Kiev, Ukraine, Monday, Aug. 22, 2016. Ukraine to mark the 25th anniversary of the Independence Day on Aug. 24. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)  (The Associated Press)

  • Military tracks ride along main Khreshchatyk Street during a rehearsal of a military parade a couple of days before Independence Day in Kiev, Ukraine, Monday, Aug. 22, 2016. Ukraine to mark the 25th anniversary of the Independence Day on Aug. 24. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

    Military tracks ride along main Khreshchatyk Street during a rehearsal of a military parade a couple of days before Independence Day in Kiev, Ukraine, Monday, Aug. 22, 2016. Ukraine to mark the 25th anniversary of the Independence Day on Aug. 24. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)  (The Associated Press)

The Kremlin says the leaders of Russia, Germany and France have raised the alarm about a recent uptick in fighting in eastern Ukraine.

A statement issued on Tuesday says Vladimir Putin, Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande discussed Ukraine in a telephone call earlier in the day and condemned recent fighting in eastern Ukraine.

The conflict in Ukraine's industrial heartland between Russia-backed separatists and government troops has killed more than 9,500 people since it began in 2014. Despite 2015 peace accords which helped to initially halt the fighting and then lower its intensity, international monitors reported more clashes in the past weeks, some involving heavy weaponry.

The Kremlin statement says the three leaders will meet face-to-face in early September to discuss ways to deal with the crisis.