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Four Kiev troopers killed in hostilities in Eastern Ukraine

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A Ukrainian serviceman fires a grenade launcher during fighting with pro-Russia forces in Avdiivka, Donetsk region, Ukraine, on March 30, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Ukraine say four of its soldiers have been killed in heavy clashes with pro-Russia forces in the country’s volatile eastern region over the past 24 hours.

Oleksandr Motuzyanyk, a Ukrainian military spokesman, said on Friday that two others were also wounded in the "active hostilities" in eastern Ukraine.

The military also announced that the truce between the government troops and pro-Russia militia had been violated 28 times in just 24 hours.

“Fighting continued along the entire contact line,” the Ukrainian military said in a statement, referring to the front line separating the warring sides.

Violence in eastern Ukraine has escalated over the past days, resulting in a higher-than-average casualty toll, with a report saying on Thursday that three other government forces had lost their lives.

On June 27, the Trilateral Contact Group on the settlement of the situation in eastern Ukraine reached an agreement on a fresh round of ceasefire starting on July 1.

A deadly war has battered Ukraine’s industrial east over the past three years, although there has been a relative calm in the area in the recent past.

The war broke out in Ukraine in early 2014 after pro-Russian protests erupted in eastern cities and the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea re-joined Russia following a referendum. The West brands the unification as annexation of the territory by Russia.

Kiev and its Western allies also accuse Moscow of supporting pro-Russian militia in eastern Ukraine, an allegation the Kremlin vehemently denies.

The war has left over 10,000 people dead and more than a million displaced, according to the United Nations.

The pro-Russians have turned the two regions of Donetsk and Lugansk in the east — collectively known as the Donbass — into self-proclaimed republics.

A firefighter douses a fire in Avdiivka, eastern Ukraine, after shelling by pro-Russia forces on February 25, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

In September 2014, Kiev and the pro-Russia forces signed an EU-brokered ceasefire agreement in the Belarusian capital city of Minsk in a bid to halt the fighting in Ukraine’s eastern regions.

The warring sides also inked another truce agreement, dubbed Minsk II, in February 2015 under the supervision of Russia, Germany, and France.

The fragile ceasefire has frequently been violated, with Kiev and the militants blaming each other.

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