Fighting in the restive eastern regions of Ukraine have killed at least three Ukrainian servicemen in the last 24 hours, according to a statement by Kiev military officials.
At least three Ukrainian servicemen have been killed and a further nine injured in fighting in eastern Ukraine, where government troops have been fighting against pro-Russian rebels, a Ukrainian military source told press.
The casualties, some of the highest losses for Kiev in recent days, underscore the fragility of a two-week old ceasefire agreed between Kiev and the rebel leaders in eastern Ukraine. The ceasefire sought to end a conflict that has killed as many as 6’000 people.
The military source, speaking on the condition of anonymity, gave no further details. A military spokesman said earlier that rebels had shelled Ukrainian positions 22 times over the past day.
Both Europe and the United States have voiced hope that the Minsk accords agreed last month could lower tensions in a conflict that has brought ties between Russia and the West to their lowest since the Cold War.
Ukraine and the rebel factions accuse each other of shooting at each others’ frontline positions each day.
This has dramatically slowed the implementation of a Minsk peace deal, in which a permanent ceasefire was agreed just two weeks ago.
The rebels have invited members of the media to witness guns being led away from the front line, but the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) says it cannot confirm the withdrawal of weapons as they have not been given access to see where the guns have been relocated.