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Iran Press TV

Two Ukrainian soldiers killed in troubled east

Iran Press TV

Mon Sep 14, 2015 3:0PM

At least two Ukrainian soldiers have been killed in fresh clashes with pro-Russia forces in the restive eastern part of the country, despite a new ceasefire in the conflict-ridden state.

"Over the last day, we lost two soldiers in fighting as well as two wounded and one who is listed as missing," Kiev military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said on Monday.

A new truce took effect in Ukraine's east on September 1 to end fighting between the Ukrainian army and the pro-Russians.

A truce agreement, dubbed Minsk II, was reached between Ukraine's warring sides at a summit attended by the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, France, and Germany in the Belarusian capital city of Minsk on February 11 and 12. The agreement introduced measures such as a ceasefire, which officially went into effect on February 15, the pullout of heavy weapons, and constitutional reforms in Ukraine by the end of the year.

The shaky deal failed to end the deadly violence in the mainly Russian-speaking regions of eastern Ukraine, with both sides trading accusations of breaching the ceasefire agreement.

Lysenko, meanwhile, accused pro-Russia forces of firing sporadic mortar rounds in the conflict-hit Lugansk and Donetsk regions, adding that government forces had returned fire.

The conflict in Ukraine broke out in March 2014 following a referendum in the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, in which people voted overwhelmingly for reunification with Russia.

The situation, however, degenerated into a major armed conflict after Kiev dispatched troops to Lugansk and Donetsk in April 2014 in an attempt to suppress pro-Russia forces there.

Some 8,000 people have been killed and almost 18,000 injured since April 2014, according to UN figures.

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