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Attacks Escalate in Ukraine as Parties Meet in Berlin

Eight civilians died in an attack upon a bus/trolley stop in east Ukraine earlier today and overnight 10 Ukraine soldiers were killed in battles with pro-Russian separatists in Donetsk.

These events, as Separatists, Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France met in Berlin to salvage a riddled cease fire between Ukraine and pro-Russian rebels in the east, underscores the fragility and the exposure Ukraine faces from Russian meddling.

Furthermore, before these attacks unfolded, Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko, revealed to the World Economic Forum(WEF), at Davos, Switzerland, that Russia had sent 9,000 troops into Ukraine. 

While Russia has criticized the attack on civilians at the trolley stop where eight civilians died in the Bosse district, south of Donetsk, Ukraine forces  have not been blamed since they were some nine miles away from the event. A rebel official has blamed the attack on saboteurs in the east. Vladimir Kononov said, according to Reuters reports: "A sabotage group was at work. This group has been detained."

But Ukraine's peace appears far from realization. Hopes of any deescalation to fighting were agreed upon in Berlin yesterday when the conflicting parties agreed with their hosts that the demarcation line established at Minsk, Belarus, last September, would mark the spot from which heavy weapons would now be withdrawn. 

Yet, before any real peace could come to the conflict, the German foreign ministry in a statement said that tangible progress on implementation of the 12-point protocol from Minsk would have to be achieved before a summit becomes possible.

The actions of pro-Russian rebels in Donetsk and Luhansk, the variable of Russian troops and the success of Ukraine forces to defend Ukraine's sovereignty, will all play a part in the next couple of weeks to determine Ukraine's territorial borders later in 2015. 

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