Friday, January 9, 2015

Six dead in eastern Ukraine in 24 hours

KIEV -- Six persons - four Ukrainian soldiers and two civilians - have been killed in the fighting in eastern Ukraine in the past 24 hours.
A pro-Russian rebel guards the road near Donetsk airport (Beta/AP, file)
A pro-Russian rebel guards the road near Donetsk airport (Beta/AP, file)
Spokesman for the Ukrainian military Andriy Lisenko confirmed this during a news conference on Friday, saying that eight more soldiers were wounded during the same period of time.
This is the highest number of casualties among the Ukrainian troops since a new ceasefire was announced in the region on December 9.

Lisenko also accused pro-Russian separatists of staging provocations and using mortars and Grad rocket launchers to attack Ukrainian army positions.

Meanwhile, the city authorities of Donetsk, a stronghold of the rebels, said that two civilians lost their lives and seven more were injured when they came under artillery fire from the Ukrainian army. Many buildings were destroyed, according to the same source.

Intensive diplomatic activities are ongoing at the same time in a bid to renew the peace process in eastern Ukraine, where the death toll has reached over 4,700 since April.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko announced in late December that he would meet with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Kazakhstan on January 15, in the presence of French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Merkel said on Thursday that the date has not yet been confirmed, while an Ukrainian official has been quoted as saying that foreign ministers of the four countries would have a telephone conversation on Friday.

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