Kyiv Says Ukrainian Soldier Killed In Conflict In East

Ukraine says one of its soldiers has been killed and two wounded as a result of clashes with Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine.

The Defense Ministry said on March 22 that separatist fighters fired machine guns, mortars, and grenade launchers, violating a cease-fire seven times during the previous 24 hours.

Meanwhile, separatists in the Donetsk region also accused Ukrainian government forces of violating the cease-fire seven times in the same period.

Since April 2014, some 13,000 people have been killed in fighting between Kyiv's forces and the Russia-backed separatists who control parts of the 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 contributed to a decrease in fighting but have failed to hold.

A new cease-fire agreement was reached on March 8, but both sides have accused each other of repeated violations since then.

With reporting by TASS