Street battles continue as Ukraine army attacks pro-Russian rebels

Street battles continue as Ukraine army attacks pro-Russian rebels
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As fierce fighting continues in Ukraine’s rebel stronghold of Donetsk and other eastern towns, the army has said pro-Russian separatists have shot down a government fighter jet.

It was not known if the pilot was able to eject or had been killed in the crash, military spokesman Andriy Lysenko told Ukrainian channel 112.

Donetsk witnessed more shelling of residential neighbourhoods on Wednesday.

The separatist-controlled administration said nine residents were killed, in addition to dozens more in the wider region.

The Ukrainian government denies that its forces are targeting civilian areas. It claims several of its own volunteer fighters have been killed.

Government forces are reportedly gaining the upper hand over the separatists.

In Luhansk, the other rebel stronghold until recently, the Ukrainian army now controls a large part of the city.

Heavy firing was reported as its assault on separatists continued.

Amid the area’s humanitarian crisis, several lorries from a Russian aid convoy entered a Donetsk checkpoint after being stuck near the Russian-Ukrainian border.

Moscow insists the trucks are only carrying food and medical aid but Ukraine fears the convoy could contain weapons destined for pro-Russian separatists.