At least five Ukrainian servicemen have reportedly been killed, during fighting with pro-Russian separatists, in the country’s restive eastern region, near the city of Donetsk.
The Ukrainian military says five of its soldiers have died in fighting just north of Donetsk – the second-highest death toll in one day this year.
Pro-Russian separatist rebels killed four in an ambush at Verkhnetoretskoye, near Avdiivka. The fifth died when his vehicle hit a landmine.
Ukrainian military spokesman Oleksandr Motuzyanyk confirmed the death toll. Early on Monday rebel mortars targeted Ukrainian troops in the same area.
Reports said two rebels were also killed. A spokesman for the separatist Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), Eduard Basurin, said the two died during Ukrainian shelling of DPR positions.
Speaking on Sunday, he said the rebels had blocked a Ukrainian army attempt to break through between Avdiivka and Yasynuvata.