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Published: Friday August 29, 2014 MYT 5:40:02 AM
Updated: Friday August 29, 2014 MYT 5:41:02 AM

Putin calls on pro-Russian rebels to let Ukraine troops leave encirclement

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin called on pro-Russian rebels to provide a humanitarian corridor in east Ukraine for encircled Ukrainian government troops to leave the battlefield, the Kremlin said in a statement on Friday.

"I call on the militia forces to open a humanitarian corridor for encircled Ukraine servicemen in order to avoid pointless victims, to allow them leave the fighting area without impediment, join their families..., to provide urgent medical aid to those wounded as a result of the military operation," he said in a statement.

Putin also said Russia will continue to provide humanitarian aid to civilians in east Ukraine, less than a week after Russia's first aid convoy delivered supplies to east Ukraine and then returned to Russia.

(Reporting By Alexei Anishchuk; Editing by Christian Lowe)

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