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Ukrainian troops edge closer to rebel-held Donetsk

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DONETSK, Ukraine — Ukrainian troops took control of a checkpoint today on the western edge of the main rebel stronghold of Donetsk as the government makes further gradual advances to quash pro-Russian separatist forces in the east.

An Associated Press reporter saw a tank waving the blue-and-yellow Ukrainian flag in the suburb of Marinka, which lies on a key road into Donetsk. Rebel combatants could still be seen in sniper positions in a nearby area closer to the city center.

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