The Ukrainian military says two of its soldiers were killed in clashes between government forces and pro-Russia separatists in southeast Ukraine over the past 24 hours.
Ukrainian military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said on March 12 that one of the soldiers was killed in a mortar attack in Avdiyivka, just outside the city of Donetsk, which is controlled by the separatists.
Lysenko said the second serviceman was killed when Ukrainian troops came under fire some 25 kilometers north of Donetsk. Another soldier was also injured in that attack, Lysenko said.
Lysenko said there had been a "sharp increase in attacks and provocations" by the separatists in the past day.
He said rebels were using "mortar, armored vehicles and artillery" which are prohibited under the Minsk peace agreements aimed at ending the conflict.
Earlier this month, NATO's top commander General Philip Breedlove warned of an uptick in attacks along the frontline in eastern Ukraine.
The conflict in eastern Ukraine has left more than 9,100 dead since it broke out in April 2014 – shortly after Russia seized Crimea from Ukraine.