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Three Ukrainian Soldiers Killed In Donbas Fighting

Dozens of people have been killed in an escalation of fighting in eastern Ukraine in recent weeks. (file photo)

The Ukrainian military says three Ukrainian soldiers have been killed and 10 others injured in fighting against Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine in the past day.

The military said in a statement on February 17 that some 66 mortar attacks by separatists against Ukrainian Army positions were recorded in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, with the heaviest fighting near Avdiyivka and Marinka.

Dozens of people have been killed in recent weeks in an escalation of fighting that has been condemned by Western countries and international organizations.

Monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) say fighting in the past week had lessened from the beginning of February.

The Ukrainian, German, French, and Russian foreign ministers are due to meet on February 18 at the Munich Security Conference to discuss the crisis.

More than 9,750 people have been killed since fighting broke out in eastern Ukraine in March 2014.

Ukrainian Armed Forces Commander and Chief of Staff Viktor Muzhenko said on February 17 that a total of 2,197 Ukrainian soldiers had been killed and more than 8,000 wounded in the fighting with separatists.

Based on reporting by dpa and Interfax