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3 dead as fighting spikes in east Ukraine

3 dead as fighting spikes in east Ukraine

3 dead as fighting spikes in east Ukraine
May 21
21:52 2018

At least three people were killed and nine others wounded in Ukraine's pro-Russia eastern region in the latest surge in violence between pro-Russian forces and the Ukrainian army, the authorities from both sides said Monday.

The latest casualties brought the death toll to nine people over the past five days, marking the sharpest spike in the long-running conflict in recent months.

The Ukrainian army reported two soldiers were killed and four wounded in fighting near the government-controlled village some 40 kilometers (25 miles) northeast of the separatists' de facto capital of Donetsk.

Authorities in the eastern regions said one of their fighters was killed and another one wounded in the renewed clashes along the front line.

Four civilians in Gorlivka, an industrial town in one of the two separatist-held regions, were also wounded in mortar shelling, they said.

A series of periodic truce deals have helped lower the level of violence in Ukraine's east but have not fully ended bloodshed.

The situation has deteriorated again in recent days with two Ukrainian soldiers killed in fighting on Thursday and four people, including two civilians, dying on Friday.

“Last week was in many ways the worst we have seen so far this year,” the mission from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe monitoring the conflict said Monday.

“In total, we recorded 7,700 ceasefire violations.”

More than 10,000 people have been killed since the anti-government protests broke out in April 2014 following Russia's integration of Crimea.

Ukraine and its Western allies accuse Russia of funneling troops and arms across the border to fan the flames of the conflict.

Moscow has denied the allegations despite overwhelming evidence that it has been involved in the fighting and its explicit political support for the pro-Russia forces.

(Source: AFP)

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Alexander Ionov

Alexander Ionov

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