Raw: Heavy Fighting in Ukraine

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News,World,Ukraine

Pro-Russian rebels clashed with the Ukrainian military on Thursday in the town of Lysychansk. At least two people were injured from mortar fire which set alight a house during the clashes. (May 21)

SHOTLIST:

AP TELEVISION - AP CLIENTS ONLY

Lysychansk, Russia - 22 May 2014

1. Armed pro-Russian rebels walking to the front line during fighting between Ukrainian Forces and dozens of armed rebels UPSOUND: Mortar fire and explosions

2. Rebels fleeing after mortar landed on position, some seen crouching for cover

3. Various injured man with stomach wound from shrapnel from Ukrainian mortar fire being treated

4. Armed rebel rushing towards burning house (hit by mortar) as injured man runs past and gets into van

5. Rebels through woods

6. Wide of house on fire as rebels and local rush to put out flames

STORYLINE:

Pro-Russian rebels clashed with the Ukrainian military on Thursday in the town of Lysychansk in the eastern Luhansk region.

Heavy sustained gunfire and mortar fire was heard.

At least two people were injured from mortar fire which set alight a house during the clashes.

Local residents told AP Television the fighting began around 4 a.m. (0100GMT) in the morning local time.

The clashes around Lysychansk were mirrored in other areas of eastern Ukraine on Thursday.

Rebels attacked a checkpoint near the town of Blahodatne near Volnovakha, killing at least eleven troops in the deadliest raid yet in weeks of fighting,

Acting Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk accused Russia of escalating the conflict in Ukraine's eastern regions and trying to disrupt Sunday's Presidential election.

Separatists in the eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions have declared independence from the government in Kiev and have pledged to derail the vote.

Election officials and voters have faced intimidation and sometimes death threats from the rebels in those areas and some residents have called for a boycott of the presidential vote.

Kiev authorities now admit it will be impossible to stage the vote in some eastern areas.

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