One Ukrainian soldier was killed and 10 were wounded over a span of 24 hours on January 18 in the country’s eastern Donbas war zone, the Ukrainian military reported.
A daily briefing by the military headquarters the following day said Ukrainian forces faced six attacks along the front line that included the use of drones, armored-fighting vehicles, 120-millimeter mortars, grenade launchers, and heavy-caliber machine guns.
Another Ukrainian serviceman was killed on January 15 from sniper fire in a conflict with Russia-backed separatists that started in April 2014 and which has killed more than 13,000 people. Earlier that year, Russian President Vladimir Putin gave the order to forcibly seize the Crimean Peninsula from Kyiv, prompting the West to impose sanctions.
Some 130 Ukrainian military personnel were killed in 2019 and the beginning of January, the Prosecutor-General’s Office said on January 17. In the Donetsk region, 101 service personnel were killed and 31 in the Luhansk region.
A total of seven Ukrainian troops have been killed since the beginning of this year and another 28 were wounded, the Defense Ministry reported.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has vowed to end the war, which has internally uprooted 1.5 million people from their homes and caused a humanitarian crisis in the easternmost regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.
Since ascending the presidency in May 2019, Zelenskiy has implemented measures with Russia to deescalate, including two prisoner exchanges and the mutual withdrawal of forces and weapons from three flash points along the 400-kilometer front line.
Russia has denied direct involvement in the conflict and says any Russians fighting in the Donbas territories are volunteers.