A tank drives in the center of the eastern city of Donetsk. AFP PHOTO / DOMINIQUE FAGET
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A new round of peace talks got under way involving Ukraine and separatists on Saturday, even as fighting between Kiev government forces and the Russian-backed rebels raged in Ukraine's east, claiming civilian and military lives.Much has changed on the ground, however, since September.The separatists have set up self-proclaimed 'people's republics' while their forces, which Kiev says are supported by 9,000 Russian regular troops, have seized more than 500 square km (193 square miles) of territory beyond that agreed in the Minsk talks and threaten to seize control of the east's two main regions entirely.More than 5,000 people have been killed in the Ukraine conflict which erupted last April following Russia's annexation of Crimea in response to the ousting of a Moscow-backed president in Kiev by street protests.
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