Ukrainian soldier killed in country's east despite ceasefire

One Ukrainian soldier killed in attack in country's eastern region as ceasefire enters its second month

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Ukrainian soldier looks at a Ukrainian flag brought from an eastern region of the country, October 14, 2015

Ukrainian soldier was killed and two other soldiers were wounded in the eastern region of the country, the defence minister said on Wednesday.

It’s not known whether the separatist groups committed the attack.

Defence Minister, Stepan Poltorak said grenade launchers were used to attack the soldiers on Tuesday in Avdiivka, a government controlled city to the north of the rebel controlled Donetsk.

The Ukrainian military said the “Bandits didn't stop at their regular provocations and fired at our positions using barrel-mounted and automatic grenade launchers," in a Facebook statement.

The minister said that they are investigating the incident.

He added that there are “People who aren't controlled by the leadership of the so-called DNR and LNR (self-proclaimed separatist republics of Donetsk and Luhansk), therefore our representative and the Russian representative are checking the facts.”

The conflict between the pro-Russian rebels and the Ukrainian government, which started after Russia’s annexation of Crimea, has cost 8,000 lives since April 2014.

A ceasefire which started on September 1, for the most part still continues. However the Ukrainian army said they lost two soldiers on September 14, without explaining the circumstances. The rebels also said they lost a fighter last weekend in Donetsk.

Despite the sporadic attacks, both sides want the Minsk deal, which was agreed on in February and included a ceasefire, to continue.

Russian President, Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that “there is no alternative to the Minsk agreement."

Ukrainian President, Petro Poroshenko also said last Friday that the success of the ceasefire gave him “Optimism with regard to the implementation of other parts of the Minsk agreements."

TRTWorld and agencies