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Ukraine shakes up top brass in new bid to crush rebels

Published on Jul 4, 2014 10:33 AM
Ukraine's new Defence minister Valeriy Geletey delivers a speech to Ukrainian parliament members in Kiev on July 3, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP

DONETSK, Ukraine (AFP) - Ukraine shook up its beleaguered army's top brass as clashes raged in the separatist east despite mounting US and German pressure on Russia to force the rebels to halt fire.

Western-backed President Petro Poroshenko on Thursday named a new defence minister and top general as his forces reported pressing on with an offensive to oust pro-Russian insurgents from the restive country's industrial east.

New Defence Minister Valeriy Geletey immediately pledged to deliver a knockout blow to the rebels after Poroshenko this week ditched a 10-day truce.

"I am sure that Ukraine will win and believe me that there will be a victory parade," the 46-year-old former police commander told lawmakers.

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