Three days of fighting between Ukrainian troops and Russia-backed separatists has left at least 13 dead. NATO has called on Russia to use its influence with the separatists to stop the spike in violence.

Ukrainian medical servicemen stand on an armoured personnel carrier (APC) after they carried wounded servicemen to hospital in the Ukraine-controlled town of Avdiivka, in the Donetsk region on January 30, 2017.
Ukrainian medical servicemen stand on an armoured personnel carrier (APC) after they carried wounded servicemen to hospital in the Ukraine-controlled town of Avdiivka, in the Donetsk region on January 30, 2017.

Ukraine said on Wednesday that at least one soldier has been killed and more were injured in the country's east as heavy fighting between government troops and Russia-backed rebels continues.

Heavy shelling was heard in the centre of the rebel stronghold of Donetsk on Wednesday morning despite calls from the UN Security Council for an immediate return to a ceasefire.

NATO called on Russia to use its influence with the separatists to stop the spike in violence.

The flare-up in fighting in eastern Ukraine, which began over the weekend, killed eight people late on Monday and early Tuesday, including civilians, and injuring dozens.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Wednesday said the situation shows the need for a swift resumption in dialogue between Russia and the US.

TRT World's Sarah Jones reports.

The Ukrainian government's press office for the operation in the east said the latest death occurred late on Tuesday.

Fighting mostly centred in Avdi yivka town north of the separatist stronghold of Donetsk, where residents have been without electricity for days.

Ukraine and NATO accuse the Kremlin of supporting the separatists with troops and weapons. Moscow denies it.

TRT World interviews Layal Dorra from Red Cross who is in Donetsk.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies