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Poroshenko Vows To Raise Troop Numbers

Poroshenko Vows To Boost Troop Numbers
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Thousands of servicemen have marched in central Kyiv to mark Ukraine's Independence Day.

Speaking at the parade on August 24, President Petro Poroshenko said Ukraine would continue to increase its troop numbers in order to fend off attacks by Russia-backed separatists in the east.

The conflict there has claimed more than 6,800 lives since it began in April 2014.

A cease-fire agreement reached in Minsk in February has been regularly violated, with a spike in violence reported in eastern Ukraine last week.

Poroshenko is expected to discuss the Minsk agreement when he meets German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande later on August 24 in Berlin.

At the parade, Poroshenko also accused Moscow of sending three military convoys into rebel-held areas in the east just in the past days.

Kyiv and Western governments, which have imposed sanctions on Russia, say there is irrefutable evidence of Russian involvement in the separatist resistance.

Moscow denies it is providing men or arms.

Based on reporting by Interfax, TASS, and AP