Russian President Vladimir Putin has said war with neighbouring Ukraine is unlikely, according to media reports.

Asked in an interview with Russian state television if he thought the current situation could lead to war, Putin said on Monday: "I think that such an apocalyptic scenario is unlikely and I hope that it will never happen".

Putin also said he did not see the need for another meeting with France, Germany and Ukraine to resolve the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

The president's statement came as a Ukrainian military commander, Colonel Valentyn Fedichev, said that the number of attacks had generally decreased across the conflict zone.

However, he said government troop positions were still fired upon 27 times since Sunday, killing two Ukrainian soldiers and wounding 10, the AFP news agency reported.

Pro-Russia fighters "have not halted attempts to assault our positions in the town of Shyrokine and the Mariupol area," Fedichev said.

Other defence officials said the rebels fired mortars into Shyrokine, which neighbours Mariupol, in an apparent attempt to provoke troops into firing back in violation of the ceasefire.

Kiev also alleged that Russia sent 20 tanks towards Mariupol, a port city of half a million residents on the Azov Sea coast, and that two tank attacks occurred there on Sunday.

Source: AFP And Reuters