Ukraine forces are not backing down as fighting intensified along the front line in eastern Ukraine for the balled of Donestsk airport. Dozens have been killed or seriously injured.
Russia and Ukraine are not backing down as either side say that they control the airport. Russia has warned Ukraine not to “make a strategic mistake” as more Russian troops cross the border.
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BBC News reports:
Russia has repeatedly denied claims that its regular forces are in eastern Ukraine, but has admitted that a number of “volunteers” are fighting alongside the rebels.
The surge of violence began last week as the fight for control of the airport intensified. Government forces fought back after rebels said they had finally seized the new terminal building having besieged government forces for months.
The rebel military command said its forces had halted a government offensive at the strategically important Putylivskiy bridge between the airport and the city. The bridge was destroyed in the fighting.
The escalating fighting prompted Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gregory Karasin to warn Ukraine that relying on a military solution was “the biggest, even strategic mistake” that could “lead to irreversible consequences for Ukraine’s statehood”.
Ukraine said two large groups of Russian forces had crossed the border into Ukraine on Monday, but there was no independent confirmation.