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Ukrainian forces struck at pro-Russian separatist bases in eastern regions with air and artillery strikes on Tuesday after President Petro Poroshenko announced he would not renew a ceasefire but go on the offensive to rid Ukraine of “parasites”. His decision quickly drew fire from Russian President Vladimir Putin who said Poroshenko had disregarded the advice of himself and German and French leaders. Putin said Poroshenko would now have to bear full responsibility for veering off the road to peace. Repeating a threat he made in March when Russia annexed Crimea, Putin said Moscow would continue to defend the interests of ethnic Russians abroad – up to three million of whom live in the east of Ukraine, which has been in separatist ferment since April. The United States said the separatists had not abided by the ceasefire and Poroshenko had “a right to defend his country”.



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