Sunday 15 September 2019

Ukrainian troops move closer to Donetsk in bid to quash pro-Russian separatist forces

Ukrainian soldiers sit on an armoured vehicle near the town of Nikishino in the Donetsk region. Reuters
Ukrainian soldiers sit on an armoured vehicle near the town of Nikishino in the Donetsk region. Reuters
Ukrainian soldiers stand near a car belonging to the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe's (OSCE) monitoring mission en route to the site where the downed Malaysian airliner MH17 crashed, at a checkpoint near the town of Debaltseve in the Donetsk region. Reuters
Ukrainian soldiers guard a checkpoint near the town of Debaltseve in the Donetsk region. Reuters
Pro-Russian separatists wait for Dutch and Australian forensic experts to continue recovery work at the site of the downed Malaysian airliner near the village of Rozsypne in the Donetsk region. Reuters
A pro-Russian separatist looks on as Dutch and Australian forensic experts continue recovery work at the site of the downed Malaysian airliner MH17 near the village of Rozsypne in the Donetsk region. Reuters
A pro-Russian separatist looks on as Dutch and Australian forensic experts continue recovery work at the site of the downed Malaysian airliner MH17 near the village of Rozsypne in the Donetsk region. Reuters

Ukrainian troops have taken control of a key checkpoint on the western edge of Donetsk, the biggest city in the rebellious east, and are making gradual advances to quash pro-Russian separatist forces.

An Associated Press reporter today saw a tank carrying the blue-and-yellow Ukrainian flag in the suburb of Marinka, which lies on a key road into Donetsk.

Rebel soldiers could still be seen in sniper positions in a nearby area closer to the city centre.

Oleksiy Dmitrashkovsky, a spokesman for the Ukrainian military operation in the east, said further fighting was expected to ensure full control over Marinka.

Donetsk, a city of one million people, has largely been spared of fighting earlier during the rebellion that erupted in April but has come under shelling in recent weeks.

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