Soldier, Civilian Killed in East Ukraine Clashes

More than 13,000 people were killed in a conflict that broke out after Moscow moved to annex Crimea in 2014.

One Ukrainian soldier and one civilian were killed in clashes between the Ukrainian army and pro-Russian separatists in the country’s breakaway east, Kiev said Wednesday.

The Ukrainian military said the separatists launched 16 attacks on its troops in the last 24 hours using mortars, grenade launchers, and heavy machine guns.

“As a result of enemy shelling, three servicemen received shrapnel wounds. One wounded soldier died at the hospital,” the Ukrainian army said on Facebook.

In a separate incident, an elderly man was killed by shelling in the village of Novoselivka Druga in the breakaway Donetsk region.

Pavlo Kyrylenko, the head of the Donetsk regional state administration, said on Facebook that police were sent to the scene to clarify the circumstances.

Kiev has fought against a pro-Russian insurgency since 2014. The conflict erupted shortly after Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula and has left more than 13,000 dead.

Moscow has always claimed that its support for the separatist regions was purely political, but Kiev and its Western allies have accused Moscow of sending troops and weapons to Ukraine’s eastern regions.

After a largely respected truce in the second half of 2020, tensions have risen again this year, notably in the spring when Moscow deployed around 100,000 troops to Ukraine’s borders for several weeks.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, a key mediator in the conflict between pro-Russia separatists and Ukraine, will visit Kiev on August 22 to discuss security issues and bilateral relations.

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