Ukrainian forces made gains against pro-Russian rebels in east of the country, seizing the towns of Krasnogorovka and Staromikhailovka just outside of Donetsk.
The seizure brought the army to the edge of one of the last cities still in rebel hands following its advances in the past month. The other is Luhansk, near the border with Russia.
Shelling near the area where a Malaysian airliner was downed last month forced international experts to stop their search for victims at one part of the crash site, but a local ceasefire enabled them to work unhindered at the main part.
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in return the EU would speed up visa-free travel for Turks and its efforts to join the 28-nation bloc.