KIEV, Ukraine

Additional troops dispatched against separatist rebels

Ukraine’s president said Tuesday that additional troops are being deployed to the east, where fighting continues to rage between government forces and pro-Russian separatist fighters.

Petro Poroshenko said the units would defend cities still under government control against possible incursions.

His remarks came after Ukrainian security officials claimed over the weekend that Russia has intensified the transfer of troops and military equipment to separatist rebels. Moscow denies it aids the rebels.

“Several new units have been formed that will enable us to repel possible attacks in the direction of Mariupol and Berdyansk, Kharkiv, and areas north of Luhansk and the Dnipropetrovsk region,” Poroshenko said, according to a statement on the presidential website.

Tensions have spiked since the weekend, when rebels held an election that was condemned by the West and Ukraine as illegal and destabilizing.

“In recent days, Russia-supported separatists have publicly stated their intention to expand the territory under their control. We strongly condemn ongoing separatist attacks in Meriupol and Dubalsiva and around the Donetsk Airport,” U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

KANSAS CITY, Kan.

Gay marriage gets conditional approval from federal judge

A federal judge has ordered Kansas to allow same-sex couples to marry, but he delayed enforcement of the order until next week to give the state time to appeal.

U.S. District Judge Daniel Crabtree issued a preliminary injunction Tuesday barring the state from enforcing its constitutional ban starting at 5 p.m. on Nov. 11, pending the outcome of a lawsuit challenging it.

The American Civil Liberties Union sued to overturn Kansas’ ban after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear appeals from five states seeking to save their gay marriage bans. Among them were Oklahoma and Utah, which are in the same appeals court circuit as Kansas.

– The Associated Press