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Death toll mounts as clashes intensify in Ukraine

Associated Press

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) -- At least eight civilians have been killed by fighting and shelling in two Ukrainian cities held by separatist militants, officials in the rebellion-wracked east said Monday.

Authorities in Luhansk that five people were killed and 15 injured by overnight artillery strikes. Three were killed in Donetsk as a result of clashes, the city's government said.

Territory between the cities has seen intensified fighting as government troops try to gain control over the area where a Malaysia Airlines plane was downed earlier this month.

Dutch and Australian police set off for the crash site Monday morning in a convoy of 20 cars, aiming to secure the area so that investigations can continue and any remaining bodies can be recovered.

Both sides in the conflict have traded accusations over the mounting civilian death toll. The armed conflict that has been raging for more than three months has displaced more than 200,000 people.

Rebels accuse government troops of deploying artillery against residential areas. Authorities deny that charge, but also complain of insurgents using apartment blocks as firing positions.

The U.S. State Department on Sunday released satellite images that it says back up its claims that rockets have been fired from Russia into eastern Ukraine and heavy artillery for separatists has also crossed the border.

State Releases Images It Says Show Russia Fired on Ukraine

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov dismissed the claims Monday during a televised press conference, asking "why it took ten days" before the U.S. released the images.

A four-page document released by the State Department appears to show blast marks from where rockets were launched and craters where they landed. Officials said the images, sourced from the U.S. Director of National Intelligence, show heavy weapons fired between July 21 and July 26 - after the July 17 downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.

The images could not be independently verified by The Associated Press.

Lavrov said he is expecting OSCE observers to arrive at the Russian-Ukrainian border "in the coming days." He said they would see that accusations rebels are traveling freely into Ukraine from Russia are false.

Ukrainian officials have said the mission is largely pointless because it involves only about two dozen observers monitoring the 2,000 kilometer (1,240-mile) border between the two countries.

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thejrd July 28 2014 at 6:09 AM

"At least eight civilians have been killed by fighting and shelling in two Ukrainian cities "
Chicago has more killings in a weekend and it isn't even a recognized war zone

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4 replies
foubabou July 28 2014 at 6:17 AM

It it strange that the US Inteligence can pinpoint where rockets takeoff and pinpoint exactly where they strike within 2-3 days but can't do the same for a rocket that downed an airliner over 10 days ago.

Unless they don't want to pinpoint where it was fired. Somebody's covering up something and it doesn't look like Putin.

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9 replies
vladswim July 28 2014 at 5:56 AM

Kiev keeps on killing innocent people, the rest of the world ignores.

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4 replies
Tommy July 28 2014 at 6:51 AM

Too bad King Obama is absent. Pelosi says he really is out front leading. But I think she's talking about his Golf Game. Can't be anything else, that's what he does most these days.

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5 replies
EUGENE July 28 2014 at 6:25 AM

no sanctions !!send all that russian garbage back to Putin !this country doesn't need materialistic freeloaders !! as far i'm concerned russia is not our friend !and it's people are not like us !!

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2 replies
Drillsgt1843 EUGENE July 28 2014 at 6:52 AM

Eugene, I couldn't agree with you more. The Russian community where I live is like an outcast...no one really cares for these people because they are incredibly rude and arrogant. They have even attempted to have our city post all the street signs in their area in Russian, rather than English. I need not tell you how quickly that idea was thrown out.

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vladswim EUGENE July 28 2014 at 6:54 AM

You're right, its a good thing that most of Russian citizens are not obese or gay :)

Flag Reply 0 rate up
runswthscisors40 July 28 2014 at 8:40 AM

If New Jersey was shelling NYC, and the Christie admin denied it, you'd be calling for his head, too............

Flag Reply +1 rate up
jsinvent July 28 2014 at 7:22 AM

The Flea Party by that I mean the Sal Alinsky Democraps are importing Invaders from other Countries to out Vote We The People to destroy Freedoms and turn the USA into a Socialist Nation controlled by one party and a dictator. To do so they need to destroy the Constitution that insures individual Freedoms. Obamacare was designed to remove Freedoms and personal saving accounts and turn you power to say no over to the IRS/KGB but your too stupid to understand it.

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rmhbenefit July 28 2014 at 12:20 PM

This Russian denial thing reminds me of the old Lenny Bruce saying.."even if you are caught in bed...deny it" good luck Putin denying you way out of this one! The Putin propaganda machine will probably melt down trying to hide this.

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GUNSLINGER July 28 2014 at 9:06 AM

Mexican border "INVASION"? What Mexican border "INVASION"?

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anikitos11 July 28 2014 at 7:02 AM

Pathetic! I can't believe anyone still believes a word the US spews. I sure dont. The burden of proof gets bigger every time we lie and it's already huge. About time to just abolish borders and live as a planet.

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3 replies
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