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US blames Moscow for fresh fighting in east Ukraine

The United States UN representative has blamed Russia for the recent surge in violence in east Ukraine.

Speaking at the Security Council in New York, Nikki Haley urged Russia "and the separatists it supports" to stop the escalation of violence in the area.

There has been heavy fighting in the government-held industrial town of Avdiivka in recent weeks in defiance of the two-year-old Minsk ceasefire deal.

The Ukrainian military and Russian-backed separatists accuse each other of launching offensives in the region. The fighting has led to the highest casualty toll in weeks and cut off power and water to thousands of civilians on the front line.



Germany 2-0 Ukraine: Mustafi and Schweinsteiger score to seal easy opening win

Mustafi scored first Germany's goal in their 2-0 win over Ukraine Credit: PA

World champions Germany got off to a winning start at Euro 2016, beating Ukraine 2-0 in Group C thanks to a thumping header scored by Shkodran Mustafi inside the first 20 minutes and an injury-time strike from Bastian Schweinsteiger.

Visit ITV's Euro 2016 website for a full report and to watch match highlights

Russia releases jailed Ukrainian pilot Savchenko

Russia has released Ukrainian pilot Nadezhda Savchenko. Credit: Reuters

Ukrainian military pilot Nadiya Savchenko arrived home in Kiev on Wednesday after nearly two years in a Russian jail.

"A presidential plane with Ukraine's hero Nadiya Savchenko has landed," Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said in a post on Twitter.

Russia released jail Savchenko in exchange two Russians held by the Ukrainian government.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said he had pardoned Savchenko on "humanitarian considerations" in the hope that her release would help reduce tension in the Ukraine conflict and avoid further loss of life.

The servicewoman volunteered to fight with a ground unit against pro-Moscow separatists who challenged Kiev's rule in eastern Ukraine in 2014.

She was captured by Russia-backed rebels and sentenced in March to 22 years in prison for her alleged role in the deaths of two Russian journalists in the conflict zone.

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