Kyiv: Two Ukrainian Soldiers, Three Separatists Killed In Fighting

Ukraine says two of its soldiers have been killed and six others wounded in clashes with Russia-backed separatists in the country’s east.

The Defense Ministry said on August 27 that the fighting also left three separatists dead and seven wounded.

The separatists violated a cease-fire 23 times during the previous 24 hours, firing artillery, machine guns, grenade launchers, and mortars, a statement said.

Meanwhile, the separatists claimed that Ukrainian government forces violated the cease-fire at least once, using mortars and heavy machine-guns.

On August 23, Kyiv announced that five Ukrainian troops were killed in clashes in eastern Ukraine, saying it represented the biggest daily loss of life among soldiers in months.

Since April 2014, more than 10,300 people have been killed in fighting between Kyiv's forces and the separatists who control parts of Ukraine's Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

Cease-fire deals announced as part of the Minsk accords -- September 2014 and February 2015 pacts aimed at resolving the conflict -- have failed to hold.

A new cease-fire agreement was reached in late 2017 and was meant to begin on December 23, but both sides have accused each other of repeated violations since then.

With reporting by TASS