Ukraine claims a soldier was killed in fresh fighting by separatists.
In a new flare-up of combat in the years-long conflict, pro-Russian separatists murdered one of Ukraine’s soldiers in the east of the country on Tuesday.
Since 2014, when Russia invaded the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine, Ukraine’s army has been fighting separatists in two separate areas bordering Russia.
Fighting has intensified in the country’s east in recent days, with Tuesday’s death marking the fourth Ukrainian soldier killed in three days.
On Tuesday, Kiev’s military announced on Facebook that separatists had used mortars, grenade launchers, and machine guns to attack Ukrainian military positions along the frontlines.
One serviceman was killed as a result of hostile fire, according to their statement.
On the frontlines, the situation remained tense.
On Monday, AFP saw a firefight between the two sides in the government-controlled town of Verkhnyotoretske.
Fighting over the weekend claimed the lives of three more Ukrainian soldiers.
According to AFP, one of them, Artur Golub, was driving a car and “delivering food” to his colleagues when he was killed by two anti-tank rockets.
The soldier, who only gave his first name Oleksandr, claimed, “He had little chance of surviving.”
Another soldier, Yuriy, stated that the separatists “frequently” fired fire.
A rebel machine gun attack was witnessed by AFP on Monday, with the Ukrainian side retaliating and seeking refuge in a shelter.
Over 400 ceasefire violations were reported over the weekend, according to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which is monitoring the crisis.
There were 210 infractions the previous weekend in both the Donetsk and Lugansk separatist regions.
When Russia massed tens of thousands of troops on Ukraine’s border earlier this year, fighting between separatists and the Ukrainian military erupted.
According to official numbers compiled by AFP, at least 54 Ukrainian servicemen have been killed since the beginning of 2021, compared to 50 last year.
Since the beginning of the year, the separatists claim to have lost more than 30 fighters.
Russia has always stated that its backing for separatist territories is simply political, but Kiev and its Western allies accuse Moscow of sending troops and weaponry to the separatist regions.
Over 13,000 individuals have died as a result of the fighting.