Ukraine Says One Soldier Killed as Fighting Persists in East

  • Military reports massive artillery assault near Mariupol
  • Conflict no closer to resolution with 2015 peace deal not met

A Ukrainian serviceman was killed as fighting between the army and Russian-backed insurgents persisted in the nation’s eastern conflict zone following the deadliest month in almost a year.

The soldier died amid an artillery barrage that also wounded five others, military spokesman Oleksandr Motuzyanyk said Tuesday. An “unprecedented” attack was directed at an area near the port of Mariupol, while mortars were also deployed against the army near the city of Donetsk, he said via video link from the capital, Kiev.

Ukraine’s army shelled 11 civilian areas overnight, including the outskirts of Donetsk, the rebel-controlled DAN news website reported. Two civilians were killed this afternoon by mortar fire, a spokesman for the rebels said by phone.

Violence in Ukraine’s east has worsened in recent weeks with a diplomatic resolution to the simmering conflict elusive and both sides blaming each other for reneging on a 2015 peace accord. July was the deadliest month since August 2015, while the United Nations estimates that at least 9,500 people have been killed since spring 2014. Russia is “seriously concerned” by the uptick in fighting, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday, echoing worries from the U.S. 

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