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Ukraine rebels reclaim village on Russian border in fight-back against government troops

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    A Donetsk People's Republic fighter says goodbye to his family who are departing as refugees to Russia in the city of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine Wednesday, July 16, 2014. Ten busloads of Internally Displaced People from the towns of Karlovka, Maryinka and Donetsk left Wednesday morning for the Rostov region in Russia to ask for refugee status there. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky) (The Associated Press)

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    A woman speaks with a volunteer before they were sent to the eastern part of Ukraine to join the ranks of special battalion "Azov", during a ceremony to take the oath of allegiance to Ukraine, in Kiev, Ukraine Wednesday, July 16, 2014. (AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov) (The Associated Press)

Separatist rebels in east Ukraine say they have retaken a village near the Russian border from government forces as they attempt to regain territory.

Sergei Kavtaradze, a spokesman for a separatist group that calls itself the Donetsk People's Republic, said one rebel militiaman was killed and another 15 injured in fighting in the village of Marinivka.

Since the start of the month, Ukrainian forces have halved the territory held by the insurgency, which is seeking to wrest two eastern regions from Kiev.

The insurgency's military leader, Igor Girkin, told Russian television station LifeNews that his men destroyed two armored vehicles and captured another.

Government efforts have focused in part on sealing the border with Russia, where insurgents are believed to draw much of their hardware and manpower.