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Battle rages on in eastern Ukraine, death toll rises

Wednesday, February 11, 2015 - 01:45

A day before a peace summit in Minsk, rockets kill seven and wound dozens as Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian rebels clash near Debaltseve. Nathan Frandino reports.

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More blood spills in eastern Ukraine. Officials say rockets rained down on the government-held city of Kramatorsk, killing at least seven and wounding dozens. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) KRAMATORSK RESIDENT AND ROCKET ATTACK WITNESS, VYACHESLAV, SAYING: "The noise was just terrible. It was terrible. I thought it was from a plane. It sounded like planes. I looked up and thought it was planes firing. The banging lasted for probably about 10 minutes." The deadly assault on the city comes a day before peace talks in Minsk. There, leaders hope to start a new Franco-German plan to halt fighting in a war that's killed more than 5,000 people. A Ukrainian army colonel says the attacks were meant to influence the talks. (SOUNDBITE) (Ukrainian) UKRAINIAN ARMY COLONEL, SERHIY GALUSHKO, SAYING: "The aim is very simple; the talks in Minsk are starting tomorrow, so somebody is probably looking for arguments to put pressure on Ukraine." Meanwhile, pro-Russian rebels are on the move in Debaltseve. One rebel leader says they stumbled upon rockets left over by the Ukrainian army. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) HEAD OF REBEL RECONNAISSANCE UNIT, NICKNAMED 'MALYSH' ('BABY'), SAYING (STANDING NEXT TO OPEN BOX WITH ROCKETS): "Film this and gentlemen from the OSCE, or whoever you are, this is not Russian. This is what has been left over by the Ukrainian authorities. That's what they shell our houses with, our wives, children, grandmothers." And with these rockets and the government troops nearby, the message is clear: there's no sign of peace in the east.

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Battle rages on in eastern Ukraine, death toll rises

Wednesday, February 11, 2015 - 01:45