Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) shakes hands with his Ukrainian counterpart, Viktor Yanukovich, in Sochi. Picture: Alexei Nikolsky

Moscow - Russia on Wednesday demanded that Ukrainian opposition leaders “stop the bloodshed” in Kiev and said Moscow would use all its influence to bring peace to its “friendly brother state”.

“The Russian side demands that leaders of the (opposition) stop the bloodshed in their country, immediately resume dialogue with the lawful authorities without threats or ultimatums,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“Ukraine is a friendly brother state and a strategic partner, and we will use all our influence in order for peace and calm to reign,” it said, without giving any detail about what steps Russia might take. - Reuters