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Ukraine Rebels Reject Peace Talks As Conflict Escalates

DONETSK, Ukraine (AP) — Signs emerged Friday pointing to a major offensive in eastern Ukraine by rebels fighting to break off from the rest of the country. A rebel leader said they will continue to fight and won't join further peace talks &mda...

Signs emerged Friday pointing to a major offensive in eastern Ukraine by rebels fighting to break off from the rest of the country.

A rebel leader said they will continue to fight and won’t join further peace talks — but left unclear whether they would respect this week’s agreement to pull back heavy weapons from the front line.

A pro-Russian rebel guards the road near the Airport of Donetsk as the other two patrol Ukrainian military vehicles behind him, Eastern Ukraine, Tuesday, Jan. 6 , 2015. (AP Photo/Mstyslav Chernov) | ASSOCIATED PRESS

“If the enemy doesn’t want to abide by the cease-fire, if he doesn’t want to put an end to the suffering of peaceful people, Ukrainian villages and town, we will smash them in the teeth,” Poroshenko told a meeting of top defense officials.