A woman waves goodbye to members of her family leaving for Russia on July 16, 2014 in Donetsk. AFP PHOTO / DOMINIQUE FAGET
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Fighting raged in Ukraine's east Wednesday when separatists tried to break through the lines of government forces near the border with Russia and a tentative step toward agreeing conditions for a cease-fire failed.Fighting has escalated sharply since Friday with the downing of a Ukrainian military transport plane and the deaths of civilians in air and artillery attacks on residential areas on both sides of the border, which Russia and Ukraine have blamed on each other.Andriy Lysenko, a spokesman for Ukraine's defense and security council, told journalists that separatists had kept up attacks overnight on government positions along the border.Government troops had been ambushed by separatists at Izvarino on the border and there had been early morning clashes near the border settlement of Stepanivka when separatists tried to break out of encirclement by the army.Lysenko renewed charges that Russia was building up its forces near the border.
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