Ukraine forces, separatists fight first serious battles in months




 
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June 4th, 2015  
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Topic: Ukraine forces, separatists fight first serious battles in months


By Alessandra Prentice and Pavel Polityuk KIEV (Reuters) - Ukrainian troops and pro-Russian separatists on Wednesday fought their first serious battles in months and Ukraine's defense minister said an attempt by rebels to take the eastern town of Maryinka had been thwarted. The Ukrainian military said the Russian-backed rebels had tried to advance using tanks and up to 1,000 fighters west of the main rebel stronghold of Donetsk, in the most significant escalation of the conflict in about three months and in defiance of a ceasefire deal. The separatists, who denied their forces had launched an assault, said 15 people had been killed when government troops fired artillery into rebel-held territory near the city.




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