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Ukraine Says Eight Soldiers Killed Amid Intense Shelling

The conflict in Ukraine's eastern regions of Luhansk and Donetsk has claimed more than 10,000 lives since it began in early 2014. (file photo)

Ukraine's Defense Ministry said on July 20 that eight Ukrainian soldiers were killed and 10 were wounded in the previous 24 hours as Russia-backed separatists stepped up shelling attacks on their positions in the country's east.

The ministry said on its Facebook page that four servicemen were killed and seven were wounded on July 20, while on the previous day, four soldiers were killed and three wounded.

A ministry spokesman had initially said that nine soldiers were killed and five wounded over the past two days.

The reported toll was among the highest in recent months in the conflict, which persists despite an internationally backed 2015 deal that imposed a cease-fire and set out steps to resolve the status of separatist-held areas in eastern Ukraine.

After a Moscow-friendly president was pushed from power by massive protests in Kyiv, Russia seized the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine and fomented separatism in eastern Ukraine, where the ensuing war has killed more than 10,000 people since April 2014.

With reporting by UNIAN and
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