Ukraine, Rebels Trade Accusations of Stepping Up East Offensive

The Ukrainian government said there were 26 outbreaks of fighting today between its forces and pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, while the rebels said the Kiev government had launched a major offensive there.

Ukrainian troops are sticking to the cease-fire worked out two months ago and are “staying at their previous positions,” the military press office said in a statement on its Facebook page.

Russia’s RIA Novosti state news agency quoted Andrei Purgin, deputy premier of self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, as saying that Ukraine had begun a large-scale offensive against the separatists in the eastern part of the country. Purgin said he sees “all-out war” and claimed Ukrainian forces had broken the Sept. 5 truce, according to RIA.

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