Two pro-Russian separatists dead in eastern Ukraine

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Two pro-Russian separatist fighters have been killed in a Ukrainian army fire in the Danetsk region of eastern Ukraine, although a ceasefire is still in place.

Parts of the Danetsk and Lugansk regions – in the east Ukraine, also known as Donbass -, along the border with Russia, are controlled by Moscow – backed separatists.

The Ukrainian army used mortars and other weapons near the communities of Marinka, Harlivka and Vadiane, according to local media, citing separatist authorities.

Moscow annexed the Crimean peninsula in 2014, after a controversial referendum. The West continues to consider this peninsula as a part of Ukrainian territory of crucial importance, as AMPE explains.

The two parts have been accused of violating the truce this year. The Ukrainian army has recently suffered several casualties.

The crisis has intensified recently, amid sporadic hostilities and the mobilization of its troops. Russia both in Crimea and on the border with Ukraine, which raise concerns that the seven-year war is heading for a new escalation.

According to UN estimates, more than 13,000 people have been killed in the conflict that broke out in 2014. At least 60 casualties have been reported on both sides since the beginning of the year, including several civilians.

The peace plan agreed to be implemented in 2015 remains on the ice. However, yesterday, Tuesday, Volodymyr Zelensky, the President of Ukraine, proposed to his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, a bilateral meeting.

“I am ready to go further, I suggest you meet anywhere in the Ukrainian Donbas, where there is a war,” said Mr. Zelensky, who spoke in Russian. He also assured that Kiev would not start a first war with Moscow, however stressed that he is ready to defend himself if attacked.

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