Ukraine Crisis: Ukraine Army says soldier killed by Russia-backed Separatists

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Saturday, February 19, 2022, 01:37 PM IST
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A memorial dedicated to people who died in clashes with security forces at the Independence Square (Maidan) in Kyiv, Ukraine | AP

A Ukrainian Army soldier was killed on the line of contact in Eastern Ukraine by Russian-backed separatist militias, according to the Ukrainian Army. Pro-Russian separatist militias have been fighting Ukrainian forces in the predominantly Russian-speaking eastern region of Donbass since 2014.

Since the start of the conflict there have been 29 ceasefires, each intended to remain in force indefinitely, but none of them have stopped the violence. The most successful attempt to halt the fighting was in 2016, when a ceasefire held for six consecutive weeks. Ukraine, Russia, the DPR, the LPR and the OSCE agreed to a roadmap for an end to the conflict on 1 October 2019.

However, the conflict did not thaw since then and, by late summer 2020, still remained unresolved on multiple levels. The latest ceasefire (29th) came into force on 27 July 2020 which led to no Ukrainian combat losses for more than a month.

According to Ukrainian authorities, from 27 July 2020 until 7 November 2020 Ukrainian mortal losses decreased tenfold (three Ukrainian soldiers were killed) and the number of attacks decreased 5.5-fold.

The first trimester of 2021 saw a large increase in Ukrainian fatalities (25, compared with 50 deaths in the whole of 2020) and the buildup of a large Russian military force on the Donbas-Russian border late March to early April 2021 and from late October and November 2021 onwards.

The number of confirmed fatalities (deaths) caused by the war was 13,100–13,300 as of the end of January 2021. By the end of September 2021, the UN confirmed 3,393 civilians had been killed in the conflict. 312 of the civilian deaths were foreigners: 298 passengers and crew of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, 11 Russian journalists, an Italian journalist, one Russian civilian killed in cross-border shelling and a Lithuanian diplomat.

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