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In photos: Shows of strength in eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian forces beef up presence in Slaviansk and seize Donetsk city hall, while Ukrainian military brings personnel carriers and jets to Kramatorsk

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A combat vehicle with pro-Russian gunman on top goes through downtown Slaviansk on April 16, 2014. The troops on those vehicles wore green camouflage uniforms, had automatic weapons and grenade launchers and at least one had the St. George ribbon attached to his uniform, which has become a symbol of the pro-Russian insurgency in eastern Ukraine.

EFREM LUKATSKY/ASSOCIATED PRESS

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An armed man, who is wearing black and orange ribbons of St. George – a symbol widely associated with pro-Russian protests in Ukraine – stands guard in front of armoured personnel carriers in Slaviansk on April 16, 2014.

GLEB GARANICH/REUTERS

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A pro-Russian gunman clears the way for combat vehicle with gunmen on top in downtown Slaviansk on April 16, 2014.

EFREM LUKATSKY/ASSOCIATED PRESS

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Masked pro-Russian gunmen attack a photojournalist near combat vehicles flying a Russian flag in Slaviansk on April 16, 2014.

EFREM LUKATSKY/ASSOCIATED PRESS

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An Orthodox icon is placed on barricades in front of a city parliament in Slaviansk.

SERGEI GRITS/ASSOCIATED PRESS

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Ukrainian soldiers sit on top of an armoured personnel carrier in Kramatorsk, eastern Ukraine, on April 16, 2014. Ukrainian government forces and separatist pro-Russian militia staged rival shows of force in eastern Ukraine on Wednesday amid escalating rhetoric on the eve of crucial four-power talks in Geneva on the former Soviet country's future.

MARKO DJURICA/REUTERS

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A boy finishes a poster reading “No to war” as people block a column of Ukrainian Army combat vehicles on the way to Kramatorsk on Wednesday, April 16, 2014. Ukraine’s central government has so far been unable to rein in pro-Russian insurgents, who it says are being stirred up by paid operatives from Russia and have seized numerous government facilities in at least nine eastern cities to press their demands for broader autonomy and closer ties with Russia.

EVGENIY MALOLETKA/ASSOCIATED PRESS

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Ukrainian soldiers drive an airborne combat vehicle near Kramatorsk on April 16, 2014.

MARKO DJURICA/REUTERS

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Ukrainian soldiers drive on an airborne combat vehicle near Kramatorsk.

MARKO DJURICA/REUTERS

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A Ukrainian Army helicopter flies over a column of Ukrainian combat vehicles on the way to Kramatorsk on April 16, 2014.

EVGENIY MALOLETKA/ASSOCIATED PRESS

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A fighter jet flies above as Ukrainian soldiers sit on an armoured personnel carrier in Kramatorsk.

MARKO DJURICA/REUTERS

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Uniformed men wearing hand bandages of a so-called Slavic patriotic organization reading: Oplot ( Stronghold) enter a city administration building in the city of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, on April 16, 2014.

ALEXANDER ERMOCHENKO/ASSOCIATED PRESS

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Dozens of pro-Russian separatists have taken control of Donetsk’s city hall, demanding a referendum.

ALEXANDER ERMOCHENKO/ASSOCIATED PRESS

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Pro-Russian insurgents stand guard inside the mayor's office in Donetsk.

STRINGER/REUTERS

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