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Iran Press TV

Ukraine claims repelled tank assault by pro-Russians

Iran Press TV

Mon Aug 10, 2015 4:30PM

The Ukrainian government says its forces have repelled a recent tank assault by pro-Russia fighters in troubled eastern Ukraine.

Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko said on Monday that about "200 insurgents used tanks to storm" Novolaspa village in Donetsk region in a pre-dawn raid. The village is located halfway between the regional capital of Donetsk and the Kiev-held port of Mariupol.

The presidency noted that the Ukrainian forces “gave a fitting rebuff and repelled all the attacks.”

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has described the incident as "a dangerous indication of a further escalation to come."

Reacting to remarks, pro-Russia forces denied launching an attack and accused the Kiev troops of initiating shelling in the violence-wracked region.

"The armed forces of Ukraine simply put the village under a heavy shelling attack," media outlets quoted a local pro-Russia official as saying.

The latest developments come as there are daily exchanges of fire in eastern Ukraine in violation of the ceasefire deal dubbed Minsk II. The escalation of violence has led to several casualties over two weeks.

Also on August 03, heavy clashes between government soldiers and pro-Russia forces left four Kiev troops dead in the volatile east.

The Ukrainian government and its Western allies accuse the Kremlin of meddling in Ukraine’s domestic affairs and backing pro-Russia forces in the eastern Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, where Kiev initiated a military operation in April, 2014 against them. The Russian government has resolutely denied the charges.

The crisis began when pro-European Union (EU) forces, including Western-backed radical nationalists, ousted then-president Viktor Yanukovych after he refused to sign an association agreement with the EU.

A new round of talks overseen by the European Union is set to start in the Belarusian capital of Minsk where representatives of Ukraine, Russia and pro-Russians will hold talks on implementing the Minsk truce agreed in February.

The shaky truce has so far failed to end the deadly violence in the mainly Russian-speaking regions of eastern Ukraine, with both sides trading accusations of breaching the ceasefire agreement.

The UN figures show about 7,000 people have so far been killed in the conflict.

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