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Fears over Russian troop increase at Ukraine border ahead of Nato chief visit

Published on Aug 7, 2014 2:12 AM
People gather near a damaged building following what locals say was a recent airstrike by Ukrainian forces in Donetsk on August 6, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

DONETSK, Ukraine (AFP) - Fears that Russia was massing troops on Ukraine's border grew on Wednesday ahead of a visit by Nato's secretary-general, as an air strike hit the main eastern city where Kiev troops are besieging rebels.

Nato and Poland both warned that Russia may be gearing up to invade its former Soviet neighbour, despite strong denials from Moscow.

The first air strike on rebel-held bastion Donetsk came as Ukrainian forces said they were preparing to liberate the city, although they also reported their highest death toll in weeks in the face of fierce rebel bombardments.

On Wednesday, Nato warned that Russia had increased the number of "combat-ready" troops on its border with Ukraine to 20,000 from 12,000 in mid-July.

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