Putin to meet with Western leaders on Ukraine

MILAN (AP) — Russian leader Vladimir Putin is mounting a diplomatic blitz on the sidelines of a summit of European and Asian leaders in a bid to escape the worst crisis with the West since the Cold War.

Putin will discuss Ukraine during a working breakfast with Ukrainian leader President Petro Poroshenko and key European leaders on the sidelines of the 10th ASEM summit, which opens Thursday. He may also meet privately with Poroshenko.

The West has imposed a series of economic sanctions against Russia over its annexation of the Crimean Peninsula.

Putin’s arrival in Milan was spurring protests ahead of the summit.

The feminist group Femen protested outside Milan’s cathedral, baring their breasts as they demanded an end to bloodshed in Ukraine. Separately, a small protest marched through the city.

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The mission of the "FEMEN" movement is to create the most favourable conditions for the young women to join up into a social group with the general idea of the mutual support and social responsibility, helping to reveal the talents of each member of the movement.

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