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Two Ukrainian Soldiers Killed In Clashes With Russia-Backed Separatists


A new cease-fire agreement was reached on March 8, but both sides have accused each other of repeated violations since then.

Ukraine says two of its soldiers have been killed and two others wounded in a battle with Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine.

The Defense Ministry said on July 2 that separatist fighters violated a cease-fire 25 times in a 24-hour period, using 120- and 82-millimeter mortars that are banned under the Minsk peace agreements.

The ministry said that the Ukrainian armed forces had killed three separatists and wounded five others.

Since April 2014, some 13,000 people have been killed in fighting between Kyiv's forces and the 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 at resolving the conflict -- have contributed to a decrease in fighting but have failed to hold.

A new cease-fire agreement was reached on March 8, but both sides have accused each other of repeated violations since then.

On July 1, Ukraine's embassy to Britain posted on Twitter the photos of the nine Ukrainian soldiers it said were killed by "Russia-led forces in occupied Donbas" in June, referring to the areas under separatist control.

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