Ukrainian troops force out pro-Russian separatists: Interfax citing rebel leader

KIEV Sat Jul 5, 2014 7:44am EDT

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KIEV (Reuters) - Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine were forced to leave positions along their northern front by a government offensive, a leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic was quoted as saying on Saturday by news agency Interfax.

"The punitive forces of Ukraine ... moved into a large-scale offensive," separatist leader Aleksandr Borodai was quoted as saying.

"Given the disproportionate numerical superiority of the enemy troops, units of the armed forces of the Donetsk People's Republic were forced to leave their previous positions on the northern sector of the front and go to pre-prepared (positions)," he said.

(Reporting by Thomas Grove)

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