A Ukrainian soldier stands guard near a Ukrainian flag at a checkpoint near Slaviansk in eastern Ukraine July 3, 2014. (REUTERS/Andrew Kravchenko)
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Global leaders scrambled Friday to convince the Ukrainian government and pro-Russian insurgents to halt nearly three months of fighting whose resumption has further upset East-West ties.Clashes in the economically-vital industrial border regions of Lugansk and Donetsk picked up with renewed vigor when Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko tore up a 10-day truce because of continuing rebel attacks.Donetsk authorities said that the eastern city of nearly one million people was shaken overnight by the echoes of blasts from battles raging on its outskirts.The uprising in eastern Ukraine was sparked by the ousting in February of a pro-Kremlin administration in Kiev, and was encouraged by Russia's subsequent seizure of Crimea.U.S. President Barack Obama and British Foreign Secretary William Hague both called on Putin Thursday to make sure the separatists attend the talks.
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