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Home News Ukraine soldier killed in clashes following peace talks

Ukraine soldier killed in clashes following peace talks

Published on 24/07/2015

Ukraine on Friday reported a soldier had died in clashes with pro-Russian rebels in the east of the country, despite another international bid to find a solution to the 15-month conflict.

Ukrainian army spokesman Andriy Lysenko said three servicemen were also wounded across the separatist east of the former Soviet state.

Despite a “certain de-escalation”, the insurgents are still firing heavy weapons prohibited under a five-month truce accord, Lysenko told reporters.

The rebels, in turn, accused Kiev’s forces of violating the shaky ceasefire on nearly 50 occasions, but reported no casualties on their side.

More than 6,500 people have died and nearly 1.5 million have been left homeless since the conflict broke out after the February 2014 ouster of a Russian-backed president and his replacement by a pro-Western leadership.

A February truce agreement signed in Belarussian capital Minsk in the presence of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande helped contain some of the violence but failed to halt daily shelling attacks.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Russia’s Vladimir Putin discussed the crisis in a teleconference Thursday with Merkel and Hollande, the second such exchange in a week.

None of the sides reported substantial progress, although all reaffirmed their support for the Minsk deal.

Kiev and the West accuse Russia of fuelling, aiding and participating in the insurgency, charges that Moscow denies.