Fighting intensifies in Ukraine - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Fighting intensifies in Ukraine

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 There's no sign of a cease-fire in eastern Ukraine -- where hostilities are supposed to end over the weekend under a peace plan worked out this week in Belarus.

   Russian-backed separatists have mounted a sustained offensive to capture a strategic railway hub ahead of the truce. Officials say at least 25 people were killed across the region.

   Ukrainian officials say the railway town, currently in government hands, received dozens of artillery and rocket salvos in the 24 hours following the talks in Minsk. Separatist forces recently have nearly completely encircled Ukrainian forces in the town, where all but a few thousand civilians have fled the fighting.

   Ukraine says that town should remain in government control under the terms of an earlier peace deal.

   The peace plan was agreed to after all-night talks involving the leaders Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France. Germany's Angela Merkel describes the cease-fire that takes effect early Sunday as "a glimmer of hope."

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