Pro-Russia rebels using heavy weapons: Ukraine

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Ukraine
Washington, July 13: Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko Saturday told US Vice President Joseph Biden that the separatists were using heavy weapons on the government forces in their counterattacks aiming to retake lost territories in Ukraine's east.

In their phone conversation, Poroshenko informed Biden "about the latest separatist attacks using heavy weapons on Ukrainian forces and the vice president expressed his condolences for the loss of life," Xinhua quoted the White House as saying in a statement.

It said Biden voiced support for the president's efforts to convene a meeting to discuss a possible ceasefire with the separatists, and talked about ongoing US diplomatic efforts to impose additional costs on Russia "if it continues on its current course of providing the separatists with heavy weapons and equipment".

The Ukrainian military said Saturday the insurgents had started to launch counterattacks trying to recapture cities lost to the government in recent days, while government troops were continuing their offensive.

Poroshenko ended a 10-day ceasefire July 1 in eastern Ukraine, blaming the insurgent forces for failing to observe the truce. The Ukrainian military then resumed its offensive in the states of Donetsk and Lugansk, and have since seized two thirds of territories in the two states.

Russia has dismissed as "shameless" the West's accusations that it is supplying the Ukrainian rebels with arms.

IANS

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