Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko gestures during a news conference during a European Union leaders summit in Brussels February 12, 2015. REUTERS/Eric Vidal
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Ukraine said on Thursday that pro-Russian rebels had reinforced their positions with tanks and missile systems in east Ukraine while marathon four-nation talks were taking place the previous night.As the talks in Minsk dragged on through Wednesday night, around 50 tanks, 40 missile systems and 40 armoured vehicles entered east Ukraine's breakaway Luhansk region from Russia via the Izvaryne border crossing, Lysenko said.Senior rebel commander Eduard Basurin said separatist forces had completely encircled Ukrainian troops in the town and their only option was to surrender."Units of the army of Donetsk People's Republic are successfully holding their positions ... and are carrying out counter-attack operations to prevent the enemy from breaking from the encirclement".He accused Ukrainian forces of attacking rebel positions in several places on Thursday and said there had been four cases of shelling of Donetsk in which two civilians were killed.
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