An effigy depicting a representative of the Kiev authorities is hung over a barricade in the eastern Ukranian city of Slavyansk on May 13, 2014.(AFP PHOTO / VASILY MAXIMOV)
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Seven Ukrainian soldiers were killed and seven wounded Tuesday when their armored column was ambushed by pro-Russian separatists near the eastern Ukrainian town of Kramatorsk, the Defense Ministry and state security service said.It was the biggest single loss of life by the Ukrainian army since soldiers were sent into the mainly Russian-speaking east of the country to break up armed separatist groups who have seized control of towns and public buildings to push their demands for autonomy.Speaking at Kiev's main airport, envoy Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Germany supports Ukraine's efforts to arrange for a dialogue between the central government and its opponents in the eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions that form the nation's industrial heartland.The Ukrainian government and the West have accused Russia of fomenting the mutiny in the east to derail Ukraine's presidential vote and possibly grab more land.It added that it expects separatists in Ukraine's Donetsk and Luhansk regions to respond in kind if Kiev does all that.Ukraine's crisis could grow even worse if regions start rejecting the presidential election.
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