Government troops in Ukraine move closer to rebel-held Donetsk

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Separatist in Donetsk A pro-Russia separatist stands guard on a road near Donetsk, on August 18, 2014. Photo: AFP/Dimitar Dilkoff

The fighting in Ukraine continues to intensify as government troops gain ground against pro-Russian separatists. Clashes broke out in the Luhansk region Tuesday, and military forces captured most of a town near rebel stronghold-Donetsk. CCTV America’s Kate Parkinson reports.

Government troops in Ukraine move closer to rebel-held Donetsk

The fighting in Ukraine continues to intensify as government troops gain ground against pro-Russian separatists. Clashes broke out in the Luhansk region Tuesday, and military forces captured most of a town near rebel stronghold-Donetsk. CCTV America's Kate Parkinson reports.

Follow Kate Parkinson on Twitter @katecctvnews

Kiev officials said street battles are taking place. An interior ministry aide told the Interfax Ukraine agency that the military was recapturing the city “block by block.”

A statement issued by the press service of the Luhansk municipality painted a picture of misery and fear for inhabitants. It stated there was fresh shelling overnight and the center of the town seriously suffered. It also stated that civilians have been wounded and killed.

Ukrainian government forces said they were making gains in the Donetsk region and taking control of most of the town of Ilovaisk, which is about 50 km (31 miles) east of Donetsk.

Next week, for the first time in two months, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko will meet in Minsk. The meeting will also be attended by EU officials.

Moscow is putting pressure on Kiev to end its attacks on pro-Russia separatists as the humanitarian crisis in the region worsens. So far, diplomatic efforts have failed to stop the fierce fighting.

It seems unlikely that Poroshenko will be willing to agree to a cease-fire with Kiev’s army appearing to be gaining the upper hand. There is concern in Kiev that it would potentially give time to the rebels to reorganize and retrench.