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Anger, relief as Slavyansk emerges from rebel siege

Residents receive food from employees of the Emergency Ministry near City Hall in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slavyansk on July 6, 2014Anna Gribnikova looks on as aid workers hand out loaves of bread nearby from the back of a truck to Slavyansk residents who she says had been held “hostage” by pro-Russian separatists for three months. The retired teacher is relieved to see the back of the rebels who fled the small eastern industrial town that had become the centre of their separatist uprising after an onslaught by the Ukrainian army. “Those so-called defenders, those terrorists, they are still dreaming of the Soviet Union,” Gribnikova lamented. “We were like hostages” of the separatists who wanted to break away from Kiev and its pro-Western leaders and join neighbouring Russia, she tells AFP.

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