Ukraine troops killed ahead of peace talks

2015-06-22 22:12
Ukrainian servicemen man a checkpoint near town of Popasna in Lugansk region. (Anatolii Boiko, AFP)

Ukrainian servicemen man a checkpoint near town of Popasna in Lugansk region. (Anatolii Boiko, AFP)

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Kiev - Ukraine on Monday reported the death of two soldiers in the past day of fighting with pro-Russian insurgents across the industrial east.

Military spokesperson Andriy Lysenko said three servicemen were also wounded in rebel artillery and sniper fire across the separatist Lugansk and Donetsk provinces.

Lysenko said the situation remained "very tense" around the industrial Sea of Azov port of Mariupol that the rebels are believed to covet as a potential export gateway for the steel and coal mines they now control.

The violence has pushed to nearly 60 the number of Ukrainian soldiers and civilians killed this month.

The separatists have called government forces' own shelling of the rebel bastion of Donetsk a "grave" violation of Minsk agreement that Russia and Ukraine signed during February negotiations spearheaded by the leaders of Germany and France.

The four countries' foreign ministers are due to meet in Paris on Tuesday in the hope of calming the latest upsurge of violence and ending fighting after 15 months that have claimed about 6 500 lives.

Read more on:    ukraine

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