A Ukrainian serviceman holds his heavy machine gun at a military camp near the town of Debaltseve in eastern Ukraine, September 29, 2014. REUTERS/David Mdzinarishvili
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The European Union on Tuesday decided to keep in place biting economic sanctions on Russia over its alleged backing of pro-Kremlin insurgents who have largely ignored a four-week Ukrainian truce.The two Western alliances' continuing pressure on Russia -- already more isolated than at any point in Vladimir Putin's 15-year rule -- set an ominous tone to the launch of Ukraine's October 26 parliamentary election campaign.The Ukraine truce was reinforced with a September 20 deal under which each side agreed to create a buffer zone by pulling back its forces 15 kilometres (nine miles) from the front line.Poroshenko's chances of forging a coalition that could help make peace with Russia while securing a military and economic alliance with the West look somewhat remote.The right-wing, anti-Kremlin contingent includes the People's Front group of Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and parliament speaker Oleksandr Turchynov -- dubbed by Moscow as Ukraine's "party of war".
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