Ukraine: fourth soldier killed in three days in Donbass

Ukraine has just declared that one of its soldiers was killed by pro-Russian separatists in the east of the country. The Ukrainian army is engaged in this conflict which erupted in two separatist regions bordering Russia in 2014 .

Fighting has resumed in recent days in the east of the country and the death reported on Tuesday is the fourth in three days in the ranks of Ukrainian soldiers.

According to the Ukrainian army, the separatists fired at its positions in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions with artillery, mortar, machine gun and grenade launcher.

“A soldier was killed by enemy fire”, the army said in a statement.

According to an assessment established by Agence France Presse from official sources, at least 54 Ukrainian soldiers have perished on the front lines since the beginning of the year against a total of 50 over the whole of the previous year. On the separatist side, more than 30 fighters have been declared dead since January.

The situation on the front seems to be deteriorating since last week. Over the weekend, three Ukrainian servicemen were killed and at least ten others injured in separatist attacks.

Sign of the worsening, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe observation mission, deployed in the conflict zone, reported more than 400 ceasefire violations last weekend against 210 the previous weekend.

This new outbreak of tensions is taking place against the backdrop of large Russian-Belarusian military exercises launched on Friday.

This conflict, which erupted shortly after Russia’s annexation of Crimea, has claimed more than 13,000 lives to date.

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