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Pushing locals aside, Russians take top rebel posts in east Ukraine


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Gabriela Baczynska and Aleksandar Vasovic

KIEV/DONETSK Ukraine Sun Jul 27, 2014


(Reuters) - As Ukrainian troops gained ground in eastern Ukraine in early July, separatist leader, Aleksander Borodai, a Russian national, left for Moscow for political consultations.


After what he described as successful talks with unnamed people there, he returned to the rebel stronghold of Donetsk to introduce a new senior figure in his self-proclaimed republic, a compatriot seasoned in the pro-Russian separatist movement in Moldova and a war between Russia and Georgia.


Vladimir Antyufeyev was named "deputy prime minister" by Borodai on July 10, one of several native Russians to have taken charge of the separatist rebellion in Ukraine's eastern regions.



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Meanwhile in Ukraine
Paul Mirengoff
July 27, 2014

It’s not getting much attention, but Ukraine continues to make military progress against rebel separatists. The Washington Post reports that the Ukrainian military has pushed the rebels out of a series of villages and towns in the East, and now has its sights set on Horlivka, a city of about 300,000.


If it succeeds in taking Horlivka, the military will be on the doorstep of Donetsk, the separatists’ power center. Already, it is blocking supplies from entering Donetsk, according to the government.


No word yet on whether President Obama and John Kerry are demanding a cease fire.


The wild card, of course, is the 15,000 Russian troops believed to be stationed on the border. Russia’s attempts to prop up the separatists, many of whom are Russians, have been largely unsuccessful so far. If the separatists continue to lose ground, Russia will likely intervene more directly.



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