Fighting intensifies in eastern Ukraine between Pro-russian fighters and Ukrainian troops.

 
Ukraine / Russia conflict
 
 
Fighting intensifies in eastern Ukraine between Pro-Russian fighters and Ukrainian troops.
Fighting intensified Tuesday, February 10, 2015, in eastern Ukraine as pro-Russia rebels and Ukrainian troops sought to extend their gains ahead of crucial peace talks, and the government accused the separatists of shelling a town far behind the front lines, killing 12 people and wounding scores.
     
Fighting intensified Tuesday, February 10, 2015, in eastern Ukraine as pro-Russia rebels and Ukrainian troops sought to extend their gains ahead of crucial peace talks, and the government accused the separatists of shelling a town far behind the front lines, killing 12 people and wounding scores. A Ukrainian soldier guards territory near Debaltseve on Sunday, February 8, 2015
     
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko told parliament in Kyiv that the separatists launched a rocket strike Tuesday on the town of Kramatorsk, more than 50 kilometres from the nearest front line, hitting a regional military command centre with the first salvo and then striking a nearby residential area.The government-controlled Donetsk administration said 12 people were killed by the barrage in Kramatorsk and 64 were wounded, including 29 civilians. Photos on the local Donetskiye Novosti website showed an artillery shell embedded in the ground next to a residential building and two bodies lying nearby.

Further south, the volunteer Azov battalion, loyal to the government in Kyiv, said on social media Tuesday that it captured several villages northeast of the strategic port of Mariupol, pushing the rebels closer to the border with Russia.

The pro-government volunteers said rebels shelled the village of Kominternove, east of Mariupol, causing unspecified civilian casualties. An Associated Press reporter at a government checkpoint between there and Mariupol heard of fighting several miles away and saw two ambulances and four trucks carrying Ukrainian troops from the direction of Kominternove toward Mariupol.

Oleksandr Turchynov, chairman of the Ukrainian Security and Defence Council, visited the area Tuesday and said the government offensive aimed to bolster the defences of Mariupol and "protect civilians from artillery strikes."

At least seven Ukrainian troops were killed overnight in the east, military spokesman Anatoliy Matyukhin said, while in the rebel stronghold of Donetsk, which faces frequent shelling, two civilians were reported killed and 12 injured.
 

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