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Ukraine clashes kill 12 civilians, Putin talks nixed

Published on Jul 13, 2014 8:16 PM
 

KIEV (AFP) - Escalating clashes between pro-Kremlin separatists and Ukrainian forces on Sunday killed 12 civilians and forced the new Western-backed leader to cancel a pivotal meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the World Cup in Brazil.

An explosive security crisis just outside the eastern border of the European Union that has claimed more than 550 lives and enflamed East-West ties threatened to spiral into an all-out civil war over the weekend.

Militias that the West and Kiev allege are being armed by the Kremlin used a Grad multiple-rocket system late Friday to mow down 19 Ukrainian soldiers and wound nearly 100 near the Russian border.

Further attacks killed 18 more troops and 20 civilians - 12 of them in what Kiev said were missile and other overnight rebel strikes staged across the eastern rustbelt - in violence that appeared to shatter any hope of a truce.

A man stands on July 13, 2014, in a house destroyed after yesterday's bombardments carried out by Ukrainian armed forces in the village of Maryinka, 20 km southwest of Donetsk. Escalating clashes between pro-Kremlin separatists and Ukrainian forces on Sunday killed 12 civilians and forced the new Western-backed leader to cancel a pivotal meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the World Cup in Brazil. -- PHOTO: AFP
 
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