Ukrainian forces have raised their national flag over a police station in the city of Luhansk which was for months under rebel control, Kiev has said, in what could be a breakthrough in Ukraine's efforts to crush pro-Moscow separatists.
Ukrainian officials said however the rebels were fighting a desperate rearguard action to hold on to Luhansk - which is their supply route into neighbouring Russia - and that the flow of weapons and fighters from Russia had accelerated.
Andriy Lysenko, a Ukrainian military spokesman, said government forces fought separatists in Luhansk on Saturday and took control of the Zhovtneviy neighbourhood police station. "They raised the state flag over it," Lysenko said. A photograph posted on Twitter appeared to show a Ukrainian flag on the front of the police station, but it could not be independently verified.
More top news
Flooded in January, farming-driven Malawi ends 2015 facing its worst drought for more than 20 years. And now a slower tragedy is unfolding.
A hapless burglar has died from smoke inhalation and thermal burns after getting stuck in a chimney while trying to rob a house.
From the canals of Venice to a remote island in the Pacific Ocean, the effects of climate change are worryingly visible across the globe.