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Iran Press TV

Ukraine forces retake 4 cities in 24 hrs

Iran Press TV

Sun Jul 6, 2014 7:41PM GMT

Pro-Russian militias have lost four cities in Ukraine's eastern Donetsk region to Ukrainian forces in the space of 24 hours.

Ukraine's Defense Minister Valeriy Heletey said on Sunday that the cities of Artemovsk and Druzhkovka in the Donetsk region, as well as Kramatorsk and Konstantinovka, are now controlled by the Ukrainian forces.

The Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council spokesman has said the country's army was 'concentrating on destroying and dismantling training bases and checkpoints of insurgents.'

According to reports, pro-Russian militiamen are now regrouping in the provincial capital Donetsk. The armed groups say they will make a firm stand against government troops.

Kiev authorities claimed victory over pro-Russia forces in Slavyansk on Saturday, after anti-Kiev fighters left the city for the town of Kramatorsk following Ukrainian security forces' overnight attacks.

The move prompted President Petro Poroshenko to order the Ukrainian flag be raised over the city.

Opposition leader, Andrei Purgin, however, said fighters only left the city in order to protect the civilian population.

Violence in Ukraine intensified after the Donetsk and Lugansk regions declared independence from Ukraine on May 12 following local referendums, in which their residents voted overwhelmingly in favor of independence from Kiev. The referendums were called illegal by Ukrainian authorities.

Hundreds of people have been killed in the ongoing military campaign in Ukraine, which has also forced tens of thousands to escape to Russia.


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