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Ukrainian forces 'firmly holding' positions, says Poroshenko

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By Euronews
Ukrainian forces 'firmly holding' positions, says Poroshenko

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko says his troops are holding the line against separatists and Russian forces, amid a surge in violence.

His words come despite Donetsk airport being reduced to a burnt out shell and Ukrainian forces withdrawing from the main terminal.

“If we, Ukrainian units, had held Donetsk airport, pro-Russian fighters would have had to agree with our position and demilitarise a significant part of the city, therefore removing the danger from densely populated areas,” said Kostyantyn Mashkovec, a military expert.

Sixteen Ukrainian soldiers are said to have been taken hostage at the airport.

Some were paraded in front of furious residents at the scene of a bus attack in Donetsk.

At least eight people died in the shelling, which Ukraine blamed on separatists.

Russia said the attack was a “crude provocation” by Kiev to undermine peace efforts.

The conflict in eastern Ukraine has killed more than 4,700 people since April, according to United Nations’ estimates.