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.
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Cloud and outbreaks of rain will ease away eastwards during the morning, clearing the east coast around midday with sunny spells developing.
Police and emergency services are attending the scene.
Rebel-held east remains at risk while the pumping station supplying the western part of the city is once again in operation.