KIEV – Six Ukrainian soldiers were killed and other 12 were wounded in eastern Ukraine in the last 24 hours, Kiev Military Command spokesman Andrei Lysenko said.
This is the highest number of casualties incurred over a 24-hour period among Kiev’s forces since the end of the Debaltsevo battle in mid-February 2015.
The situation in the conflict zone is unstable, and armed provocations are being launched on all fronts, Lysenko said, denouncing the use of mortar shells and tanks by the pro-Russian separatists earlier on Tuesday.
Ukrainian forces claimed that the separatists launched a total of 26 attacks along the separation line from early Monday evening until midnight, explaining that the situation was very tense in Donetsk region, where separatists attacked military positions near the towns of Peski, Avdeyevka and Opytnoye using mortar shells, tanks and hand grenades.
Conversely, the head of the pro-Russian separatists in Donetsk condemned that Kiev forces violated the cease-fire, claiming that they launched more than 60 offensives over the last 24 hours.
“Our positions were attacked with all kinds of weapons to the extent we suffered casualties; one was killed and five wounded,” a statement released by the separatists to the DAN news agency reported.
Kiev government and pro-Russian representatives will discuss their commitment to implementing February’s Minsk cease-fire in a video conference with the mediation of the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe, or OSCE, on Tuesday.
According to UN reports, more than 6,000 people, including civilians and combatants, have been killed in eastern Ukraine since the conflict erupted in April 2014.