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Kyiv Says Two Government Soldiers Killed In Eastern Ukraine


Cease-fire deals aimed at resolving the Ukraine conflict have so far failed to hold. (file photo)

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.

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
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