8 troops killed despite peace deal


Published: Friday 13th February 2015 by The News Editor

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Eight Ukrainian soldiers have been killed and others wounded overnight despite a peace deal and looming ceasefire deadline, a military spokesman said today.

Vladislav Seleznyov, spokesman for the Ukrainian army general staff, said in comments carried by the Interfax-Ukraine news agency that much of the fighting had taken place in Debaltseve, a key transport hub which has been hotly contested in recent days.

The military report was for the 24 hours ending at 6am local time.

Fourteen people were injured in fighting in the rebel stronghold of Donetsk in the 24 hours ending at 10am local time, according to municipal authorities.

The fighting has continued despite the agreement reached by leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France in the Belarusian capital of Minsk yesterday. The leaders agreed to implement a ceasefire, set to take effect on Sunday, at one minute after midnight.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel cautiously described the agreement as “a glimmer of hope”.

The ceasefire is to be monitored by the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s observer mission in Ukraine.

The next step, to begin on Monday, is to form a sizeable buffer zone between Ukrainian forces and Russia-backed rebels. Each side is to pull heavy weaponry back from the front line, creating a zone roughly 30-85 miles (50-140km) wide, depending on the calibreof the weapons. The withdrawals are to be completed within two weeks.

Other thorny political questions, including a degree of autonomy for the disputed eastern regions, are to be settled by the end of the year.

Published: Friday 13th February 2015 by The News Editor

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