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NATO chief flies to Ukraine amid Russian troop buildup fears

NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen speaks during a press conference in Berlin, on July 2, 2014NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen will visit Ukraine on Thursday, amid growing fears of a major Russian incursion as the Alliance warns of a troop buildup at the border On the sanctions front, Russia retaliated Wednesday for recent US and EU measures, slapping one-year bans and limits on food and agricultural imports from the countries involved. NATO said Russia had increased the number of “combat-ready” troops on its border with Ukraine to 20,000 from 12,000 in mid-July. Ukrainian forces also carried out their first air strike on the rebel stronghold of Donetsk, as they said they were preparing to liberate the city, although they also reported their highest death toll in weeks in the face of fierce rebel bombardments.

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