'More than 50 killed' in Donetsk fighting

Pro-Russian rebels have said the death toll during two days of fighting in the eastern Ukraine city of Donetsk has now risen to 50. Ukraine's military launched a strike on rebels who had taken the international airport in the eastern city.

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Russia 'may be preparing a scale down' of troops

Sporadic fighting has continued around Donetsk airport today, leaving scores of Russian separatists dead and leaving scars around the city.

Despite recent fighting, Nato officials have said that there could be indications Russia may scale down its troops on the border with Ukraine.

ITV News' International Affairs Editor Rageh Omaar reports:

Obama offers Ukraine president-elect 'full US support'

President Obama congratulated Ukraine's president-elect Petro Poroshenko on his victory and offered the support of the US as he attempts to "unify his country".

Read: Fighting over 'in hours' says new president

A White House statement said Obama congratulated Poroshenko and offered "the full support of the United States as he seeks to unify and move his country forward."

The leaders will talk again next week, the White House said.


Ukrainian forces inflict heavy losses on Donetsk rebels

A heavily armed pro-Russian rebel mans a newly erected barricade on the airport road of Donetsk, Ukraine. Credit: Reuters/Yannis Behrakis

Ukraine's military continue to fight with pro-Russian rebel groups around the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk today, as the government vowed to continue its assault "until not a single terrorist" was left. Rebels said more than 50 of their fighters have been killed.

Read: Death toll in battle of Donetsk reaches 50, rebels say

The mayor of Donetsk said the death toll in the clashes, which started yesterday, was more than 48 last night, including two civilians.

Images from Donetsk hospital morgue show 20 bodies in combat fatigues, some of which have missing limbs.

A shot out Kamaz truck seen near Donetsk airport. Credit: Reuters/Yannis Behrakis

Ukraine used airstrikes and a paratroop assault on Monday to clear the barricades erected around Donetsk airport, and have pushed back the pro-Russian fighters.

Read: Ukrainian military launches strike on Donetsk airport

Interior minister Arsen Avakov told reporters in Kiev: "The airport is completely under control. The adversary suffered heavy losses. We have no losses."

Bloodsatined icon of Jesus seen among items shattered from a Kamaz truck, similar to that used by pro-Russian rebels. Credit: Reuters

First deputy prime minister Vitaly Yarema said: "We'll continue the anti-terrorist operation until not a single terrorist remains on the territory of Ukraine."

Donetsk: Contact lost with election monitors

European security watchdog OSCE has lost contact with one of its teams of election monitors near the eastern Ukrainian town Donetsk, where rebels are fighting with government forces.

The four-strong team were last heard from at around 6pm on Monday.

In a statement it said: "We are continuing with our efforts and utilising our contacts on the ground. The Ukrainian government as well as regional authorities have been informed."

Putin calls for 'immediate halt' to Ukraine fighting

A truck blasted with bullets near Donetsk airport. Credit: Reuters

Russian President Vladimir Putin has called for an 'immediate halt' to fighting in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk.

In his first comments since new Ukraine president Petro Poroshenko was elected on Sunday Putin urged Kiev to start talks with rebel leaders.

But the Ukrainian government has accused Russia of sending "terrorists" across its border.

Ukraine's foreign ministry said: "There are grounds to believe that Russian terrorists are being sent onto Ukrainian territory, organised and financed under the direct control of the Kremlin and Russian special forces."


Death toll now 'more than 50' in Donetsk

Pro-Russian rebels have said the death toll during two days of fighting in the eastern Ukraine city of Donetsk has now risen to 50.

The prime minister of the rebels' self-styled Donetsk People's Republic (DNR) Alexander Borodai told Russia's RIA news agency: "We have lost more than 50 volunteers."

Two civilians dead in fighting in Donetsk

Pro-Russian militants in Donetsk. Credit: Reuters

Two civilians have been killed during fighting in Donetsk.

Ukrainian forces have now seized control of the city's airport after vowing to press on with a military offensive "until not a single terrorist" was left.

More than 30 rebels are thought to have died in the clashes.

Fighting over 'in hours' says new president

Newly elected Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko. Credit: Reuters

New Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko has said a robust military campaign in the eastern city of Donetsk should stop fighting in the city 'in a matter of hours.'

The total death toll since Monday now stands at 40, according to the city's Mayor.

Fighting to gain control of Donetsk's airport has raged for two days and the city's hockey stadium was also set on fire when rebels stormed it. The fire is now under control.

The home venue of the ice hockey club "Donbass" on fire in Donetsk. Credit: Reuters
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