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Fighting intensifies in eastern Ukraine

Fighting has started again in eastern Ukraine between government troops and separatist rebels, Ukrainian military officials said.

Yesterday a missile killed at least 15 refugees who were trying to flee the area "burning them alive". More bodies may still be recovered.

This comes days after a convoy of aid supplies travelled to the country from Moscow but Ukraine is still to let them in over fears it could spark an invasion.

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Kerry won't rule out further Russia sanctions

Further sanctions against Russia have not been ruled out but US Secretary of State John Kerry said he hoped the international community can find a way for Russia and Ukraine to work together to resolve the political tension.

US Secretary of State John Kerry. Credit: Reuters

He told reporters at a briefing in Sydney: "Our hope is that in the next days and weeks, we can find a way for (Ukrainian) President Poroshenko and Ukraine to be able to work with the Russians to provide the humanitarian assistance necessary in the east."

He added: "Our hope is that can happen through the diplomatic process, but we've all learned that we need to be cautious and strong at the same time and our responses clear about what is acceptable and what is not acceptable."

Kerry was speaking as Russia said a convoy of 280 trucks carrying humanitarian aid set off for Ukraine on Tuesday, amid warnings that could be an attempt by Moscow to install a permanent presence in the country.

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