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Military conscripts in the Russian-backed Donbas region have been sent into front-line combat against Ukrainian troops with no training, little food and water, and inadequate weapons, six people in the separatist province said.

The new accounts of untrained and ill-equipped conscripts being deployed are a fresh indication of how stretched the military resources at the Kremlin's disposal are, over a month into a war that has seen Moscow's forces hobbled by logistical problems and held up by fierce Ukrainian resistance.

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