Ukraine`s new president signalled on Wednesday he would be ready to hold talks with opponents in eastern Ukraine if pro-Russian separatists agreed to lay down their weapons.
Petro Poroshenko, who will be sworn in as president of Ukraine on Saturday, is a billionaire chocolate baron whose revolutionary zeal turned him into a political comet.
A pro-Russian rebel said on Tuesday he believed about 30 to 35 separatists had been killed so far in nearly 24 hours of fighting with Ukrainian forces in Ukraine`s eastern city of Donetsk.
US Vice President Joe Biden has expressed "grave concern" over escalation in violence in Kiev and called on Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych to pull back security forces and exercise maximum restraint.
Viktor Yanukovych was inaugurated as Ukraine`s President on Thursday, five years after his first bid failed amid massive protests over vote fraud.
Day in Pics: 29th December
Showbiz World - December 29, 2014
Stars celebrate Christmas