Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine conflict resumes talks in Minsk
It was earlier reported that peace talks between the sides in the conflict broke up after six hours on August 3 amid reports that they failed to secure progress on a planned buffer zone. The talks in the Belarusian capital Minsk are seeking to salvage a sweeping but largely ineffective cease-fire signed by the Ukrainian government and Russian-backed rebels in February. The latest meetings were meant to agree to the withdrawal of smaller weapons from a proposed 30-kilometer-wide buffer zone, which splits separatist-controlled districts from the rest of Ukraine. Ukraine has been under pressure from European allies to back the extended buffer zone. Yet several hundred residents of the Kyiv-controlled frontline port of Mariupol rallied against the pullback on August 2 out of fear that it would only provoke a new advance of the militants supported by Russia.