UK & World News
Ukraine: 15 Die In Battle To Free Soldiers
Fifteen Ukrainian soldiers and border guards have been killed during an operation to free army units who were trapped by pro-Russian rebels on the border.
Government forces opened up an escape corridor and the units were able to force their way out after being effectively encircled by separatists south of Luhansk and east of Donetsk.
"Seven service staff and eight border guards were killed and 79 injured," Ukrainian military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said.
Pro-Kiev troops say they are making gains in the east of the country as they battle heavily-armed separatists in a conflict which began in April and has claimed more than 1,100 lives.
At least three civilians were reportedly killed and 10 others were wounded in overnight shelling of the main rebel stronghold of Donetsk.
The pro-Russian city council said four apartment buildings in the southern were damaged by artillery barrages.
Ukrainian officials have denied government forces were shelling populated areas and blamed civilian casualties on the insurgents.
It comes as a top rebel leader and the newly appointed prime minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic said his forces have seized 18 Grad systems and a large number of tanks from a Ukrainian unit.
Alexander Zakharchenko's claim could not be independently confirmed.
Meanwhile, Russian investigators said they had detained five Ukrainian soldiers on suspicion of war crimes in eastern Ukraine, after they crossed into Russia earlier this week.
The troops went across the border in a huge contingent of more than 400 servicemen on Monday.
Moscow claimed they had surrendered and were switching sides but Kiev said they were forced to cross after running out of ammunition. Most of the men have since gone back to Ukraine.
Fighting in the east of the country has intensified since Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down on July 17, killing all 298 passengers and crew.
The West has blamed the rebels, who allegedly hit the aircraft with a BUK missile after mistaking it for a Ukrainian military plane.
But Russia and the separatists say Kiev government forces were responsible.
Dutch forensics experts have identified 21 more flight MH17 victims, while their colleagues at the crash site began arriving home from east Ukraine where fighting has stopped the investigation.
Until now, only two bodies had been identified. The 21 new victims were 16 Dutch, including a dual British national, two Malaysians, a German, a Canadian and a Briton.