Pro-Russian rebel forces unravel as Ukraine military cuts off key stronghold
Published on Aug 15, 2014 4:40 AM
DONETSK, Ukraine (AFP) - Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine suffered dramatic setbacks on Thursday as top military chiefs quit and Ukraine's forces pummelled their strongholds, cutting off a key rebel-held city from the Russian border.
Kiev's advance came as a massive Russian "humanitarian" convoy parked up close to the frontier, with doubts still swirling over whether the trucks would be allowed to cross.
The separatist leadership showed signs of unravelling following four months of fighting that have left more than 2,000 dead and many residents in the region without power or running water, and with dwindling food supplies.
The rebels said their main military chief, Igor Strelkov, had resigned, while the rebel commander in the second-biggest insurgent stronghold of Lugansk, Valery Bolotov, told Russian TV he was "temporarily" stepping down because of earlier injuries.
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