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Ukrainian shells on separatist positions… The drums of war are beating

Russia is massing more than 100,000 troops near the border with Ukraine, and is demanding that NATO not accept Kiev as a member.

The West threatens Moscow with new sanctions if it attacks Ukraine, while Russia denies planning any attack.

Recent years have seen sporadic shootings from both sides in rebel-held areas, but any escalation of the years-long conflict with Donbass separatists could stoke tensions between Russia and the West.

The agency’s report quoted representatives of the self-declared Luhansk People’s Republic as saying that Ukrainian forces used mortars, grenade launchers and a machine gun today.

Representatives of the Luhansk region in the Ukrainian-Russian ceasefire monitoring group were quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying: “Ukrainian armed forces have crudely violated the ceasefire regime, using heavy weapons that the Minsk agreements stipulate that they must be withdrawn.”

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