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Soldier killed, two wounded in eastern Ukraine clashes, despite truce

OSCE SMM monitoring the movement of heavy weaponry in eastern Ukraine. (OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine/Flickr)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

Ukraine says one of its soldiers has been killed and two others wounded in clashes in the country’s east despite a fresh cease-fire agreement between Kyiv and Russia-backed separatists.

The Defense Ministry said on January 2 that separatist fighters violated a cease-fire three times on January 1 by firing guns, grenade launchers, and mortars.

It said Ukrainian government forces returned fire, killing one separatist and wounding four others.

The separatists accused Kyiv’s forces of violating the truce.

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Since April 2014, more than 10,300 people have been killed in fighting between Ukrainian government forces and the separatists who control parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

Fighting persists despite cease-fire deals reached as part of the September 2014 and February 2015 Minsk accords, and implementation of other measures set out in the deals has been slow.

A new truce between Ukrainian forces and the separatists took effect at midnight on December 29.