Donetsk rebel commander: we're surrounded by Ukrainian forces

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Associated Press

Posted on August 9, 2014 at 10:00 AM

Updated Saturday, Aug 9 at 11:01 AM

DONETSK, Ukraine (AP) — A top commander of the pro-Russia insurgency in eastern Ukraine say Ukrainian forces have seized a key town, leaving the rebel region's largest city of Donetsk surrounded.

The statement by Igor Girkin appears to be a significant admission that Ukrainian forces are gaining the upper hand in the four-month-old fight.

Girkin is a former Russian special service officer better known by his nom de guerre of Strelkov. He says the town (Krasnyi Luch) on one of the two main roads between Donetsk and the rebel-held east's other main city of Luhansk, "has been taken by the enemy."

A spokesman for the Ukrainian military operation says he can't confirm that government forces have taken the town.

In Donetsk, a spokesman for the city administration says at least one person was killed and several injured in shelling of the city's southern area today.

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APPHOTO XSG105: Local residents pass by a balcony damaged during morning shelling in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014. Several shells fell this morning in a northern Donetsk neighborhood, near the airport. No human casualties were registered. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits) (9 Aug 2014)

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APPHOTO XSG103: Community workers remove a tree that was cut down by a shell after morning shelling in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014. Several shells fell this morning in a northern Donetsk neighborhood, near the airport. No human casualties were registered.(AP Photo/Sergei Grits) (9 Aug 2014)

<<APPHOTO XSG103 (08/09/14)££

APPHOTO XSG111: Local resident Marina Barsuk speaks out of broken window of her flat after shelling in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Aug. 8, 2014. At least three civilians have been killed and another 10 wounded in overnight shelling of the main rebel stronghold in eastern Ukraine besieged by government forces, officials said. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits) (8 Aug 2014)

<<APPHOTO XSG111 (08/08/14)££

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