By Richard Balmforth and Maria Tsvetkova KIEV/DONETSK Ukraine (Reuters) - Ukrainian forces regained more ground but sustained further casualties on Thursday in clashes with separatists, while two Western allies urged Russia's Vladimir Putin to exert more pressure on the rebels to find a negotiated end to the conflict. Government forces have recently gained the upper hand in the three-month conflict against separatists in the Russian-speaking eastern regions in which more than 200 government troops have been killed as well as hundreds of civilians and rebel fighters. The Ukrainian military says it has a plan to deliver a "nasty surprise" to the heavily-armed separatists who have dug in Donetsk, a city of 900,000 people, after being pushed out of their bastion in Slaviansk at the weekend.
Germany expelled the US intelligence station chief in Berlin Thursday over alleged spying by Washington, the government said in a highly unusual move among close NATO allies. "The representative of the US intelligence services at the embassy of the United States of America has been told to leave Germany," government spokesman Steffen Seibert said in a statement. Seibert said the demand was based on two formal probes by German federal prosecutors of suspected spying for Washington announced in the last week "as well as outstanding questions over the last several months about the activities of the US secret services in Germany". Seibert said it was "crucial for Germany, in the interest of the security of its citizens and its troops abroad, to work closely on a basis of trust with Western partners, in particular with the USA".