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Ukraine troops clash with rebels despite ceasefire

Published on Jun 22, 2014 6:27 AM
 
Pro-Russian militants take the military oath of allegiance to the so-called People's Republik of Donetsk during the ceremony in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk on June 21, 2014. Ukraine’s unilateral ceasefire hung in the balance on Saturday as clashes engulfed the separatist east and Russian President Vladimir Putin questioned the new Western-backed leader’s claimed commitment to peace. -- PHOTO: AFP

ANDRIYIVKA, Ukraine (AFP) - Ukraine’s unilateral ceasefire hung in the balance on Saturday as clashes engulfed the separatist east and Russian President Vladimir Putin questioned the new Western-backed leader’s claimed commitment to peace.

The resurgence of violence in the 11-week pro-Russian uprising threatening to splinter the ex-Soviet state came as Washington accused the Kremlin of covertly arming the rebels and sternly warned Putin against sending troops into Ukraine.

But the Russian strongman appeared ready to continue sabre-rattling in the worst East-West standoff since the Cold War by ordering units from the Volga to western Siberia to conduct snap military drills.

“There is no ceasefire,” a woman named Lila Ivanovna said just four kilometres south-west of the battled-scarred rebel stronghold city of Slavyansk.

 
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