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Ukrainian government troops inch closer to rebel city

By The Associated Press

This article was published August 19, 2014 at 7:58 a.m.

DONETSK, Ukraine — The Ukrainian government has captured most of a town near Donetsk, tightening the noose around the key rebel-held stronghold, officials said Tuesday.

Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said in a Facebook post that one soldier was killed and four wounded after a volunteer battalion came under mortar fire before entering the town of Ilovaysk, 11 miles east of Donetsk. Among the wounded is the commander of the Donbass battalion, Semyon Semenchenko, who said government soldiers destroyed three rebel checkpoints and four firing positions, and that fighting continues.

Government efforts to quell the pro-Russian separatist front have focused lately on gradually encircling Donetsk, the largest rebel-controlled city.

Read Wednesday’s Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

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