And so the turmoil in Donetsk rumbles on, as the world watches in horror. Dozens have been killed on both sides, as government troops try in vain to prise rebel gunmen from checkpoints and public buildings. The death toll continues to rise on a daily basis.

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A pro-Russian fighter displays a club in Donetsk's regional state buildingAFP

Kiev condemns the insurgents as "terrorists" bent on destroying Ukraine and accuses Russia of fomenting the unrest. Russia denies that, saying it has no influence over the rebels, who insist they are only protecting the interests of Russian-speakers in the east.

The militia of the Donetsk People's Republic is a force of uncertain strength, composed of units of varied provenance and abilities.

Separatist leaders now admit their ragtag army has many foreigners, including some from the Russian province of Chechnya. Others have been indentified as belonging to a Cossack unit from southern Russia or members of a division calling itself the Russian Orthodox Army. Many insist they are either local or from Crimea.

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Pro-Russian fighters of Vostok (East) battalion rest in the regional state building in Donetsk after they seized the building from activists of the so-called People's Republic of DonetskAFP
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A heavily armed pro-Russian rebel mans a barricade on the road to the airport in DonetskReuters
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Hunting shotguns and a riot police shield are seen behind a barricade on the airport road in the eastern Ukrainian city of DonetskReuters
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A member of a newly-formed pro-Russian armed group called the Russian Orthodox Army stands guard in front of a destroyed vehicle near Donetsk airportReuters
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Pro-Russian fighters rip apart an Ukrainian flag outside a regional state building in DonetskAFP
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Pro-Russian supporters hold placards reading "Save Donbass people from Ukrainian army" as they rally in KharkivAFP

Disorganisation plagues the rebels. Dozens of fighters from the insurgents' Vostok Battalion briefly surrounded the separatists' headquarters in Donetsk in the most serious instance of infighting seen among the militants.

The standoff was apparently provoked by anger in the battalion, which is understood to be heavily made up of men from Russia's North Caucasus, at reports of their allies looting a supermarket near the Donetsk airport after Monday's deadly battle.

The confrontation ended with the militiamen seizing the looted goods and bulldozing away the barricades that have stood outside the administration building since early April, when the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic announced its formation.

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A barricade is demolished outside the regional administration building in the east Ukrainian city of DonetskReuters
Pro-Russian militia eastern Ukraine
An armed pro-Russian militiaman from the Vostok (East) Batallion looks at items that, according to him, were looted by other separatist groups and stored in the Donetsk regional administration buildingReuters
Members of the Vostok (east) battalion, a pro-Russia militia, detain an activist of the People's Republic of Donetsk following their storming of the regional state building in the eastern Ukrainian city of DonetskAFP
Armed pro-Russian militants guard Denis Pushilin, the self-styled governor of the so-called "People's Republic of Donetsk"AFP