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Ukrainian Defense Minister Says Army Close to Victory Over Militia in Eastern Regions

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Ukraine's Defense Minister Valeriy Heletei claims that government troops are close to defeating independence militia in the southeast of the country, where Kiev has been conducting military operation since mid-April.

MOSCOW, August 4 (RIA Novosti) – Ukraine's Defense Minister Valeriy Heletei claims that government troops are close to defeating independence militia in the southeast of the country, where Kiev has been conducting military operation since mid-April.

We will win very soon,” Heletei said in an interview with BBC.

The minister added that he realizes that it will be a hard task to take over the cities of Donetsk and Luhansk but noted that Ukrainian army has made significant progress lately. According to the official, the territory that is currently controlled by independence supporters is now only half as large as it was over four weeks ago.

Kiev launched a special operation in southeast of Ukraine in attempt to crackdown on independence supporters protesting against the February regime change. Moscow has repeatedly condemned the move that led to hundreds of casualties and called on Ukrainian authorities to stop the “punitive” action.

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