Soldier killed, four wounded in Ukraine fighting flare-up
February 18 2020 06:14 PM
A Ukrainian serviceman at a position on the front line with Russia-backed separatists near the villa
A Ukrainian serviceman at a position on the front line with Russia-backed separatists near the village of Zhelobok, Lugansk region

AFP/Kiev

Fierce fighting in eastern Ukraine killed one Ukrainian soldier and wounded several others Tuesday, Kiev said, in the worst clashes in months with pro-Russian separatists.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the bloodshed was a ‘cynical provocation’ that undermined new efforts to resolve the conflict.

Zelensky said Kiev is committed to peace but that Ukraine would be ‘resolute in resisting any armed aggression’.

One Ukrainian soldier was killed and four wounded after they came under fire from weapons banned under a ceasefire agreement, the military said.

It said separatists attacked Ukrainian positions near the villages of Novotoshkivka and Krymske, less than 10 kilometres (six miles) from one of three zones from which both sides agreed to withdraw forces last year.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said both sides had suffered casualties, adding that Moscow ‘does not know the details of what provoked the clash’.

Ukraine has been fighting separatists in the eastern Donetsk and Lugansk regions since 2014 following Moscow's annexation of the Crimean peninsula.

The insurgents have received support from Russia, which was slapped with heavy sanctions by the West over its role in the conflict.

More than 13,000 people have been killed since fighting broke out in 2014, despite peace accords signed in the Belarus capital Minsk in 2015.




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