Story by the Associated Press; curated by Dave Urbanski

SLOVYANSK, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine’s president has hailed as the “start of a turning point” his troops’ success in driving out pro-Russian insurgents from a key rebel stronghold in the east.

Local citizen Ludmuila sits near a destroyed shop in the city of Slovyansk, Donetsk Region, eastern Ukraine Saturday, July 5, 2014. By late afternoon on Saturday, Ukrainian troops were fully in control of rebel headquarters in Slovyansk, a city of about 100,000 that has been a center of the fighting between Kiev’s troops and the pro-Russian insurgents. (Image source: AP/Dmitry Lovetsky)

Petro Poroshenko said the recapture of the city of Slovyansk was “not a total victory.” But he said in a statement posted online that the move carried symbolic significance and marked a turning point “in the battle against the rebels for the territorial integrity of Ukraine.”

Ukrainian government army soldier wipes the sweat from his brow in the city of Slovyansk, Donetsk Region, eastern Ukraine Saturday, July 5, 2014. (Image source: AP/Dmitry Lovetsky)

After a night of heavy fighting, Ukrainian forces chased rebels from Slovyansk, which had been under the insurgents’ control since early April. The rebels vowed to regroup elsewhere and fight on.

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