France promises to increase military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine

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French President Macron visits Percy Army Hospital in Clamart
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PARIS (Reuters) - President Emmanuel Macron said France would step up military and humanitarian support to Ukraine during a phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Saturday, Paris said.

Macron reiterated his "strong concern" over Russia's bombing of Ukrainian cities and the "unbearable situation" in the southeastern Ukrainian port city of Mariupol, the French presidency added in its statement.

Russia denies targeting civilians in what it calls it "special military operation" in Ukraine.

Ukraine's military said Russian forces pounded Ukraine's eastern Donbas region on Saturday but failed to capture three target areas, while Moscow said Western sanctions on Russia and arms shipments to Ukraine were impeding peace negotiations.

(Reporting by Michel Rose, Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Catherine Evans and Andrew Heavens)

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