Kremlin says it fears full-scale fighting in Ukraine’s east

MOSCOW (AP) — The Kremlin said Friday it fears the resumption of full-scale fighting in eastern Ukraine and could take steps to protect endangered civilians there. The stark warning by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman on Friday comes amid a troop buildup along Russia’s border with Ukraine. The statement reflected the Kremlin’s determination to prevent Ukraine from using force to try to reclaim control over separatist-controlled territory in the country’s east. Ukrainian forces and Russia-backed separatists have been fighting in eastern Ukraine since shortly after Moscow’s 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea Peninsula. Officials in Ukraine and in the West have raised concerns about increasingly frequent cease-fire violations, as well as the Russian troop movements.