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Iran Press TV

Fighting kills 3 Ukrainian forces in 24 hours

Iran Press TV

Fri Feb 27, 2015 2:9PM

Three Ukrainian soldiers have been killed in fighting with pro-Russia forces in eastern Ukraine in the past 24 hours, a military spokesman says.

'Over the past day, three Ukrainian soldiers died and seven were wounded,' military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said on Friday, without giving any details about where or how the troops were killed.

The latest killings follow a two-day lull in which the military reported that none of its troops were killed.

Lysenko said clashes with pro-Russia forces have been halted along most of the frontline but that there were still fighting in villages near the ruins of Donetsk airport. A stuttering ceasefire recently came into effect in Ukraine.

He said the militants "attacked using artillery, mortars and tanks and tried to storm our positions', adding that 'all the attacks were beaten back.'

East Ukraine peace work

During peace talks in the Belarusian capital city of Minsk on February 11-12, the leaders of Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine agreed on the withdrawal of heavy weapons from Ukraine's frontlines and a ceasefire, which officially went into effect on February 14. The warring sides, however, have continued to engage in sporadic clashes.

Back in September 2014, the representatives of Ukraine, Russia, and the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Lugansk signed another ceasefire deal in Minsk, but the truce was violated on an almost daily basis by both the Ukrainian military and the pro-Russia forces, and thus failed to deliver any practical result.

Kiev on Thursday said it has started the withdrawal of heavy weapons from the frontline of conflict in eastern Ukraine as part of the Minsk ceasefire deal with pro-Russia forces.

"Ukraine is today (Thursday) beginning the withdrawal of 100-mm cannons from the frontline," read a statement issued by the Ukrainian military.

Source of conflict in east Ukraine

Donetsk and Lugansk are two mainly Russian-speaking regions in eastern Ukraine, which have been hit by deadly clashes between pro-Russia forces and the Ukrainian army since Kiev launched military operations in April last year to crush pro-Russia protests there.

In May 2014, the situation in the two flashpoint regions started to worsen as residents overwhelmingly voted in referendums for independence from Ukraine and joining Russia.

Nearly 5,700 people have been killed and close to a million have been displaced since the armed conflict began in eastern Ukraine in April 2014.


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