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Ukrainian forces raise flag in rebel stronghold

Ukrainian forces have broken through a pro-Russia rebel stronghold on Sunday, and raised their national flag over a police station in the city of Luhansk, Reuters reported.

{mosads}However, rebels were still trying to hold on to the city, which is the rebel’s supply route into neighboring Russia, and through which Russia had accelerated its flow of weapons and fighters, according to the news service.

Separately, the foreign ministers of Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany were meeting in Berlin to discuss a cease-fire between Ukrainian forces and the pro-Russia separatists, and to end Russia’s support for the separatists.

“We have no cease-fire. We are far away from a political solution,” German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said before the meeting.

Ukrainian officials also said on Sunday that the separatists shot down a Ukrainian warplane.

Meanwhile, a Russian convoy of some 280 trucks purportedly carrying aid for the rebels continued to wait at the Ukrainian border, as Russian, Ukrainian and Red Cross officials worked on an agreement on how to deliver the aid.

Sixteen trucks, however, separated from the main convoy and drove into a Russian bus depot near a border crossing into Ukraine, according to Reuters.

“We will see this evening if the final obstacles can be overcome,” Steinmeier had also said before the meeting. “It would be good if this humanitarian aid could arrive where it is needed, in Luhansk, in Donetsk and other cities in eastern Ukraine.”

On Saturday, Alexander Zakharchenko, prime minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, said the rebel stronghold was in the process of receiving some 150 armored vehicles and 1,200 fighters trained in Russia, and planned to launch a major counter-offensive.

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