US-led military exercises due to begin in western Ukraine

Armed pro-Russian militants take a break at a check point near a front line where shelling continues between pro-Russian forces and the Ukrainian army, in the village of Olenivka, some 30 km south of Donetsk, on September 14, 2014US-led military exercises involving 15 countries were set to begin in Ukraine Monday, as fighting rumbles on in the restive east between government forces and pro-Russian rebels in violation of a ceasefire. Heavy fighting erupted around the rebel stronghold of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine on Sunday, piling further pressure on a precarious nine-day-old truce between the government and separatist fighters. Kiev accused the rebels of jeopardising the truce by intensifying their attacks on government positions in eastern Ukraine, the scene of five months of deadly combat.

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