The FINANCIAL — Ukraine’s military says two of its soldiers were killed and five wounded after an explosive device damaged a military vehicle in the eastern part of the country, where the conflict with Russia-backed separatists persists despite a longstanding cease-fire deal.
In a separate statement on January 17, the Defense Ministry said two other soldiers were wounded as the separatists violated the cease-fire three times in the previous 24 hours using machine guns, grenade launchers, and mortars, according to RFE/RL.
The separatists, meanwhile, claimed Ukrainian government forces violated the cease-fire seven times, using the same array of weaponry.
Since April 2014, more than 10,300 people have been killed by fighting between Kyiv’s forces and the Russia-backed separatists who control parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
Cease-fire deals announced as part of the Minsk accords — September 2014 and February 2015 pacts aimed aimed at resolving the conflict — have failed to hold.
A new cease-fire agreement was reached in late 2017 and was meant to begin on December 23, but both sides have accused each other of cease-fire violations since then.
With reporting by Interfax and TASS