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Battle Rages Amid East Ukraine’s Bloodiest Fighting in Weeks

  • Seven soldiers have been killed since latest violence began
  • EU says shelling is a ‘blatant’ cease-fire violation
A damaged home stands in Makeyevka, Ukraine, the aftermath of shelling, on Jan. 29, 2017.

A damaged home stands in Makeyevka, Ukraine, the aftermath of shelling, on Jan. 29, 2017.

Photographer: Valentin Sprinchak/TASS via Getty Images
Updated on

The deadliest flare-up in fighting in eastern Ukraine in 1 1/2 months stretched into a third day as the European Union labeled the violence a “blatant” breach of the stalled 2015 peace accord aimed at resolving the almost three-year-old conflict.

The military said Tuesday that Russian-backed insurgents pounded the town of Avdiivka, 20 kilometers (13 miles) from the conflict zone’s biggest city, separatist-held Donetsk, using rockets and artillery. Rebels blamed the shelling on the army. President Petro Poroshenko broke off a visit Monday to Germany, where Chancellor Angela Merkel voiced concern at the security situation.