Ukrainian war planes bombarded separatists along a broad front on Saturday, inflicting huge losses, Kiev said, after President Petro Poroshenko said “scores and hundreds” would be made to pay for a deadly missile attack on Ukrainian forces.

In exchanges marking a sharp escalation in the three-month conflict, jets struck at the “epicentre” of the battle against rebels near the border with Russia, a military spokesman said.

The planes targeted positions from where separatists, using high-powered Grad missiles, bombarded an army motorised brigade on Friday, killing 23 servicemen.

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