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US blames Moscow for fresh fighting in east Ukraine

The United States UN representative has blamed Russia for the recent surge in violence in east Ukraine.

Speaking at the Security Council in New York, Nikki Haley urged Russia "and the separatists it supports" to stop the escalation of violence in the area.

There has been heavy fighting in the government-held industrial town of Avdiivka in recent weeks in defiance of the two-year-old Minsk ceasefire deal.

The Ukrainian military and Russian-backed separatists accuse each other of launching offensives in the region. The fighting has led to the highest casualty toll in weeks and cut off power and water to thousands of civilians on the front line.

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