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Tensions high in Donetsk as rebels claim to repatriate dead

Tensions high in Donetsk as rebels claim to repatriate dead
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During a lull in fighting in the East Ukrainian city of Donetsk, coffins have been seen lined up outside local mortuaries.

On Monday there was a bloody battle between pro-Russian separatists and government forces, after rebels tried to overrun the city’s airport.

Since electing a new Ukrainian president on Sunday, Kyiv has vowed to clamp down on resistance in its troubled East.

Now an uneasy calm has descended over Donetsk, with both forces trying to assert control in the area.

A pro-Russian separatist using the name Varan, had this to say on the situation: “I can only say that I hope Ukraine makes up its mind and will not bring its troops into the city. Especially as the city is surrounded by Ukrainian troops. If they want a war there will be slaughter on both sides.”

At least 50 pro-Russian separatists were reported to have been killed on Monday during fighting.

Now with Ukrainian troops still surrounding the city, separatist leaders are increasing calls for outside assistance.

Denis Pushilin, leader of the self proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic remarked to local journalists: “At the moment we need to be defended from the outside.”

Reports are circulating that they may have already had some help, Pushilin has been quoted as saying so-called Russian volunteers died in the recent fighting, their bodies are reportedly set to be repatriated.