Ukrainian army enters Luhansk in heavy fighting

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Heavy fighting continues in eastern Ukraine with combat reported in the city of Luhansk where the government in Kyiv says it has recaptured a city district.

Artillery fire was also reported at Makiivka, near Donetsk, and fighting continued in the Donbass capital as well. Kyiv insists rebels along with their Russian and mercenary support continue to get supplies and reinforcements from over the border despite the OSCE having monitors in place, but they cannot cover every mile of frontier.

Kyiv is now saying there were no survivors from a refugee convoy that was allegedly hit by missile fire from pro-Russian separatists yesterday, and 15 bodies have been recovered, but salvage teams are no longer able to get access to the site because of the fighting.

On the battlefield, gains are slowly being clawed back from the rebels, and while there is pressure for a ceasefire from Moscow it does not appear to be in Kyiv’s interests to agree to one now.

Monday is Ukraine’s Independence Day, and on Sunday German Chancellor Angela Merkel will make a symbolic visit to Kyiv.

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