The Ukrainian army has taken control of 20 percent of the separatist-controlled area, says official
KIEV - At least 15 civilians were killed, including three children, and 15 others wounded in clashes between pro-Russian separatists and the Ukrainian army Friday in the country's eastern regions, said the Donetsk regional state administration.
Ukrainian Security Council spokesman Andrei Lysenko said that the Ukrainian army had blocked the roads linking the cities in Donetsk and Lugansk which were previously controlled by pro-Russian activists.
The Ukrainian army has taken control of 20 percent of the separatist-controlled area and found Russian-made weapons, Lysenko said.
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian parliament approved Thursday a law to impose sanctions on Russian companies and individuals.
After the vote, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk told the parliament: "We showed that the Ukraine knows how to protect itself by approving the law."
Unrest in eastern Ukraine has torn the region apart since April, when the government launched "anti-terror" operations against armed separatists seeking to break away from Ukraine, following the annexation of Crimea by Russia in March.
Russia has faced a several waves of sanctions from the U.S. and the European Union since the move, and because of its alleged involvement in unrest in eastern Ukraine.
The latest wave of sanctions came after the downing of a Malaysian airliner on July 17, in which all 298 passengers and crew members aboard were killed.
Russia has responded to Western sanctions by applying a year-long ban on imports of food such as beef, pork, poultry, fish, cheese, milk and vegetables from sanctions-imposing countries.
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