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Mon, 07 Jul 2014 10:31:16 +0000
(NEW YORK) -- Pro-Russian separatists who lost control of one of their strongholds in eastern Ukraine are determined to hold onto the cities they've occupied for the past three months.
A day after Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko praised his military for retaking Sloviansk, rebel forces were organizing their next move in the regional capitals of Donetsk and Luhansk where they still hold sway.
However, Poroshenko's declaration that winning back Sloviansk was of "huge symbolic importance" was not overstated since the city is considered the center of the declared separatist People's Republic of Donetsk.
The insurgents still have much of eastern Ukraine along with the not-so tacit support of Moscow, which has allegedly been providing them with arms and mercenaries.
After a 10-day ceasefire failed to end the hostilities, Poroshenko has directed the military to undertake a major offensive in an attempt to finally end the insurgents' stranglehold of the east.
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