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Russia, Ukraine trade blame as fighting tests truce

Ukrainian younsters speak with a serviceman guarding a rally supporting a united Ukraine in the southern city of Mariupol, on September 13, 2014Tensions over Ukraine festered after Kiev accused the Kremlin of seeking to “eliminate” the pro-Western former Soviet nation while Moscow charged Washington with orchestrating the entire crisis. The bitter exchange on Saturday in the wake of the toughest Western sanctions yet on Russia came with a fragile nine-day truce once again tested by an hours-long battle for control of a strategic eastern Ukrainian airport. Russia further stoked tensions by sending a 220-truck convoy into rebel-held territory which it said carried aid but which was never checked by European monitors or Ukrainian soldiers at the border. Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk called on world leaders not to trust Russian President Vladimir Putin despite his decision to sign Moscow up to a truce aimed at ending a five-month war that has claimed more than 2,700 lives.

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