Ukrainian Soldier Killed In War-torn Separatist East


Ukrainian soldier killed in war-torn separatist east

Kiev, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 14th May, 2021 ) :A Ukrainian soldier was killed in the conflict-ridden east of the country, the military said Friday, as fears of escalation of tensions between Kiev and Moscow remain high.

Kiev has been battling pro-Russia separatists in the eastern Donetsk and Lugansk regions since 2014, following Moscow's annexation of the Crimean peninsula.

After an uptick in violence in recent months, Russia in April amassed 100,000 troops on Ukraine's borders, raising fears of a major escalation in the long-running conflict.

Moscow soon announced a pullback, saying it was conducting military drills, but the process has dragged on and significant Russian forces still remain along the border.

One Ukrainian soldier was killed as a result of sniper fire, the army said in a statement posted on Facebook on Friday, the latest combat casualty over the past several days.

Earlier this week, Ukraine Defence Minister Andriy Taran said that "the number of withdrawn Russian troops does not make it possible to conclude that the threat of armed aggression has passed".

"Russian military hardware still remains close to our northern border," he added.

Ukraine accused the separatists of shelling from mortars and attacking with automatic grenade launchers almost on a daily basis, shredding a ceasefire brokered last year.

The conflict, which has claimed more than 13,000 lives, has seen at least 37 Ukrainian soldiers killed since the start of the year compared to 50 in all of 2020, while the separatists say some 30 of their fighters have died.

Kiev and its Western allies accuse Russia of sending troops and arms to support the separatists, claims Moscow denies.