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Ukrainian soldier killed, but ceasefire largely holds

One soldier has been killed in east Ukraine, but a shaky two-week-old ceasefire between the government and pro-Russian rebels was still largely holding, the army said on Monday.



Kiev: One soldier has been killed in east Ukraine, but a shaky two-week-old ceasefire between the government and pro-Russian rebels was still largely holding, the army said on Monday.

"During the last 24 hours one Ukrainian soldier was killed and four others injured," Kiev military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said, without giving further details.

After 10 months of conflict, which has claimed over 6,000 lives according to a UN report published today, the fighting has abated along many parts of the frontline.

Sporadic clashes continue to be reported, however, underscoring the fragile nature of a February ceasefire deal.

On Saturday, a Ukrainian news photographer and a fighter from the ultra-nationalist Right Sector group -- which is engaged alongside government forces -- were killed by shelling in a village close to the destroyed Donetsk airport.

Another military spokesman, Anatoliy Stelmakh, said today that the rebels had attacked government positions all along the frontline 32 times in the past 24 hours, significantly less than at the height of the fighting.

The two sides have repeatedly accused each other of violating the deal negotiated by the leaders of Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France in Belarus on February 12.

Days after the accord was signed, the rebels seized the transport hub of Debaltseve.

But with no major offensive reported since, the two sides say they are gradually withdrawing their heavy weapons, as called for by the so-called Minsk II deal.

Lysenko today assured the army would continue to move back its artillery "if the situation does not get worse." 

From Zee News

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