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Fighting rages in eastern Ukraine town, residents flee

Thursday, June 05, 2014 - 02:13

June 4 - Ukrainian government forces battle separatists with artillery and automatic weapons as fighting rages for a second straight day in and around the eastern town of Slaviansk, forcing many frightened residents to flee. Jillian Kitchener reports.

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A family waits patiently for a way out of Slaviansk. They're like many others fleeing their homes as fighting intensifies. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) REFUGEE FROM SLAVIANSK ANDREI BONDAR, SAYING: "We hastily packed our stuff, the most important things, what we need and we are leaving ... but where to, we don't know. We have some plans, we have chosen a direction - it will be through Russia. No doubt we have to leave Ukraine. There is no future here for the children or for us. I don't see anything good happening here." Kiev says they're battling pro-Russian separatists in a -- quote -- "anti-terrorist operation". They claim more than 300 rebels had been killed here in the past 24 hours. But rebels deny this, and say losses by the Ukrainian side exceeded theirs. Amateur video shows the aftermath of a shelling of a hospital and railway station, just outside of Slaviansk. At least one person was killed and another wounded on Tuesday. As families move to safer ground, world leaders arrive in Brussels for the G7... with the Ukrainian crisis as their focus. German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned she would consider stricter economic sanctions on Russia if Moscow failed to stem the violence. U.S. President Obama endorsed Ukraine's president-elect Petro Poroshenko, saying he was the right choice to lead the country locked in a stand-off with Moscow. (SOUNDBITE) (English) US PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA, SAYING: "It's important for the international community to stand solidly behind the efforts of Petro to broker with the Russians a process whereby Russia no longer is financing or supporting or arming separatists on Ukraine's sovereign territory." While the fighting in Eastern Ukraine shows no signs of easing up, Poroshenko said he would unveil a plan for a "peaceful resolution" after his inauguration next Saturday.

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Fighting rages in eastern Ukraine town, residents flee

Thursday, June 05, 2014 - 02:13