Ukrainian servicemen sit on an armored vehicle with a Ukrainian flag as a convoy of Ukrainian forces drive towards the eastern city of Debaltceve, in the region of Donetsk, on July 30, 2014. AFP PHOTO/ GENYA SAVILOV
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Kiev Thursday announced a day-long halt to its deadly offensive to oust pro-Russian rebels in east Ukraine after fighting had stalled efforts by international investigators to kick-start a probe into the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 .Kiev -- which has continually blamed rebels controlling the site for blocking the probe -- warned however that insurgents had continued shelling its troops positions around the region.The Netherlands has already ruled out the possibility of sending in troops as "unrealistic" over fears they could get entangled in Ukraine's murky conflict that has claimed over 1,100 lives in more than three months of bitter fighting.Fuelling concern, NATO's top commander, General Philip Breedlove, said Wednesday that Russia had boosted the number of troops along the border with Ukraine to "well over 12,000" and the number was on the rise.
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