Rebels seize ground as West claims Russia army is in Ukraine

Pro-Russian militant speaks on the phone as he secures the area around a burnt car in downtown Donetsk on August 27, 2014Rebels in east Ukraine appear to have seized swathes of territory from retreating government forces, while Western intelligence says Russian army units are operating inside the country. After weeks of government offensives that have seen troops push deep into the last rebel bastions, the tide appeared to be turning once again in the four-month conflict, prompting a nervous government in Kiev to call on NATO for help. AFP journalists saw no signs of government troops south of the rebel-held city of Donetsk, with road blocks on the entire 100-kilometre (60-mile) stretch to the Azov Sea manned by pro-Russian rebels.

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