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Ukraine fighting intensifies after election

May 28, 2014 • World News


Firefighters work at a burnt ice hockey arena in Donetsk, Ukraine, Tuesday, May 27, 2014. Early Tuesday, a group of unidentified men stormed Donetsk’s main ice hockey arena, which was to host the 2015 world championships and set it ablaze, according to the mayor’s office. The ice hockey arena belongs to Ukrainian lawmaker Boris Kolesnikov. (AP Photo/Alexander Ermochenko)

DONETSK, Ukraine (AP) — Dozens of dead insurgents lay piled in a van outside a morgue Tuesday, and a rebel said more were on the way. Bomb disposal experts disarmed a mortar round lodged in a corpse. A wrecked and blood-soaked truck at the Donetsk airport showed the grisly aftermath of battle.

The fight for eastern Ukraine seems to have taken a ferocious turn, as both sides step up their attacks after the rebellious regions mostly boycotted a presidential election that delivered a decisive winner.

Following a day and night of the heaviest and most sustained assault by Ukrainian government forces to date, the pro-Russia separatist movement finds itself facing an emboldened and resolute national leadership.

With Sunday’s election of billionaire Petro Poroshenko to the presidency, Kiev has received grudging and tentatively positive diplomatic overtures from Russia.

Leaders of the 28 EU countries, meeting Tuesday in Brussels, said they expect Russia to cooperate with newly elected President Petro Poroshenko, winner of Sunday’s elections.

In a statement, the EU heads of state and government said Moscow should “use its leverage on the armed separatists to de-escalate the situation in eastern Ukraine.”

But with evidence that irregulars are continuing to pour into Ukraine from Russia, it remains unclear whether the Kremlin is encouraging fighters whose attack Monday on the Donetsk International Airport showed their increasing aggression.

What is certain is that the Ukrainian government’s anti-insurgent operation has been kicked into a higher a gear, with the military Login to read more

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