Putin eyes benefits as rebels gain in Ukraine

January 28, 2015 10:14 AM

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MOSCOW (Reuters) - Boxed into a corner by a financial crisis and the West's refusal to drop sanctions over the conflict in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin has come out fighting.

After a relative lull in the conflict in east Ukraine since a ceasefire deal was reached last September, separatists have launched a new offensive. Kiev says the rebels are supported by 9,000 Russian soldiers.

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