Kryvyi Rih, Ukraine — When the President of Ukraine invited CBS News to visit to the front line in his country's war against Russian-backed separatists, we expected a quick trip in an armored motorcade to the muddy trenches that cut a bloody scar through the wheat fields of eastern Ukraine. We did not anticipate an informal breakfast — lard on rye bread, salmon sashimi, homemade cookies and shots of brandy — with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his elderly parents in their tiny, Soviet-era kitchen.

The war in Ukraine has raged since 2014, when protests in the capital, Kyiv, toppled a government friendly to Moscow. Russia retaliated by sending troops across the border to seize control of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula, and by backing a separatist insurgency in the east. The United Nations puts the death toll after seven years of war at more than 13,000.

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