Sunday, 19 September, 2021

Ukrainian soldier killed in separatist attack

Ukrainian soldier killed in separatist attack

Popular News

KIEV: A Ukrainian soldier was killed and another wounded in the latest attacks launched by pro-Russia separatists in Ukraine's breakaway east, its military said Friday.

The Ukrainian army has been locked in a long-running conflict with separatist fighters in the eastern Donetsk and Lugansk regions since 2014 after Moscow annexed Crimea.

Ukraine's military said in a Facebook post Friday that over the past 24 hours breakaway fighters had launched 11 attacks on its troops with mortars, grenade launchers and heavy machine guns, reports AFP.

"As a result of enemy fire, one soldier from the Joint Forces received fatal injuries," the statement said, adding that another soldier was wounded by a bullet. The death brings Ukraine's toll to three this week, after two Ukrainian troops were killed and four wounded in attacks launched by separatists on Monday.

Ukraine accuses the separatists of shelling from mortars and attacking with other large-calibre weapons almost on a daily basis, shredding a ceasefire brokered last year.

On Wednesday, a high-profile official from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) said that "there has been an increasing number of ceasefire violations" over the past two weeks.

"The sides have not yet demonstrated their willingness to address the ceasefire violations" recorded by the OSCE monitors, Heidi Grau, the special representative of the OSCE chairperson-in-office in Ukraine, said in a statement.

Russia amassed 100,000 troops on Ukraine's borders in April after an uptick in violence.

While Moscow soon announced a pullback, both Russia and the United States say the withdrawal has been limited.

The conflict, which has claimed more than 13,000 lives, has seen more than 40 Ukrainian soldiers killed since the start of the year compared with 50 in all of 2020.

The separatists say roughly 30 of their fighters have died.

Ukraine and its Western allies accuse Russia of sending troops and arms to support the separatists, which Moscow denies.