Three civilians, two soldiers killed in east Ukraine
Three Ukrainian civilians and two soldiers have been killed in the past day of intensifying clashes between the Western-backed government's forces and pro-Russian insurgents, officials from both sides said Thursday.
The eastern Donetsk region's self-proclaimed deputy defence minister Eduard Basurin told AFP that three women died when Ukrainian forces shelled Gorlivka, a rebel bastion about 30 kilometres (20 miles) northeast of Donetsk city.
The Kiev-appointed governor of the neighbouring war-torn province of Lugansk reported the death of one soldier in a mortar attack on the edge of the disputed demarcation line between the two forces.
The Kiev campaign's chief military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said another soldier was killed and 13 were wounded in violence across the war zone. He did not identify the location of either the second military fatality or the region of the heaviest fighting.
Monitors from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) have accused both Kiev and separatist fighters of breaching a February ceasefire agreement that required the withdrawal of heavy weapons from a mutually-agreed buffer zone.
"Our monitors on the ground have spotted tanks in fire positions on both sides of the contact line," the OSCE's Special Monitoring Mission spokesman Michael Bociurkiw told reporters in Kiev.
Western organisations reported nearly 35 people were killed last week in the first serious upsurge in clashes since the so-called Minsk II agreement was signed in the Belarussian capital with the help of Germany and France.
© 2015 AFP