Ukrainian forces reclaim port city from rebels




 
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June 13th, 2014  
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Topic: Ukrainian forces reclaim port city from rebels


By Aleksandar Vasovic MARIUPOL Ukraine (Reuters) - The Ukrainian flag fluttered over the regional headquarters of Mariupol on Friday after government forces reclaimed the port city from pro-Russian separatists in heavy fighting and said they had regained control of a long stretch of the border with Russia. The advances are significant victories for the pro-European leadership in a military operation to crush the armed rebellion, which began in east Ukraine in April, and hold the former Soviet republic of 45 million together. In central Mariupol, police cordoned off several streets, where roadblocks of sandbags and concrete blocks, once manned by rebels, were riddled with bullet-holes and the burnt-out hulk of an armoured personnel carrier with rebel insignia smouldered. "At 10:34 a.m. the Ukrainian flag was raised over City Hall in Mariupol," Interior Minister Arsen Avakov wrote on Facebook, less than six hours after the attack began on the city of 500,000, Ukraine's biggest Azov Sea port.

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