Ukraine today claimed that a Russian secret services general was killed in fighting in rebel-held Donetsk region amid new signs the so-called ceasefire is under deep strain.
If confirmed, he would be the highest ranking Kremlin loss in the bloody conflict and a huge embarrassment for Moscow, which claims its servicemen are not engaged in Ukraine
'Russian general Sergey Andreychenko is among those killed,' said the National Defence Headquarters in Ukraine's Dnipropetrovsk region.
Several sources claimed he was a commander in the FSB, Russia's domestic secret service.
There was no comment from Moscow on the report which claimed Ukrainian Interior Ministry troops 'eliminated' a subversive group in Telmanovo, Donetsk region.
A Chechen fighter was also killed, it was claimed.
Dnipro-1 battalion commander Yuriy Bereza said: 'The killing of Russian mercenaries and a general is just one of the many operations with a similar outcome.
'There is nothing to be surprised with. The same will happen sooner or later to anyone who dares to come to our land.'
Seven civilians died and 17 were injured when shells exploded today near a funeral procession in Mariupol.
Vladimir Putin, who meets Ukrainian leader Petro Poroshenko on Friday, denounced the West for double standards over human rights.