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Top rebel figure in Ukraine's east losing hope of Russian intervention

A top figure in Ukraine's separatist insurgency says he is losing hope for action by Russian forces and blames Russian tycoons for dissuading Moscow from military intervention.

Pavel Gubarev, the self-proclaimed governor of the rebel Donetsk People's Republic, also says there is a split in rebel ranks and his organization no longer controls the murky Vostok Battalion of fighters who man key checkpoints on the outskirts of the Donetsk region's capital city.

After Ukrainian forces drove separatists out of their stronghold city of Slovyansk over the weekend, Ukrainian officials said forces would aim for a blockade of Donetsk city.

At a news conference Wednesday, Gubarev said "We would like to receive help in the form of Russian forces. But we are realists and understand that's impossible."