Ukraine’s military and pro-Russian separatists face shortcomings in their fight in restive east

By Fredrick Kunkle, Anthony Faiola, May 20, 2014

KRAMATORSK, Ukraine — At a frontline post near pro-Russian rebels, a Ukrainian military unit gave off a vibe that did not exactly convey a readiness to fight.

One soldier — without helmet, flak jacket or rifle — stood off to the side of the unit’s roadblock to sun himself as a line of vehicles waited to pass. Other soldiers hung out laundry. Then came a burst of machine-gun fire just east of the checkpoint and an awkward dash for helmets, flak jackets and weapons.

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