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Russia launches large-scale military exercises - Agencies

The leaders of Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine have agreed a deal to end fighting in eastern Ukraine

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Russia has launched military exercises in 12 regions, involving more than 30 missile regiments, RIA news agency reported on Thursday, citing a defense ministry official.

Meanwhile the leaders of Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine have agreed a deal to end fighting in eastern Ukraine, participants at the summit talks said on Thursday.

The deal reached after all-night negotiations in the Belarussian capital Minsk included a ceasefire that would come into effect on Feb. 15, followed by the withdrawal of heavy weapons.

The news came as Ukraine was offered a $40-billion lifeline by the International Monetary Fund to stave off financial collapse.

(With Reuters)