Wed. Oct 20th, 2021

The Ukrainian army has been locked in a conflict with runaway fighters in Donetsk and Lugansk that erupted after Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula in 2014.

Two Ukrainian soldiers were killed and ten others wounded in the country’s war-torn east while clashes resurfaced, the army said on Sunday.

The army has been firing pro-Russian separatists on Ukrainian positions for the past 24 hours using large-caliber artillery, grenade launchers and drones, the army said in a statement. Most of the attacks took place in the eastern Donetsk region.

“As a result of enemy fire, two members of the Joint Forces were killed,” the Ukrainian army said. “There are no casualties among the locals.”

The Ukrainian army has been locked up in a conflict with breakaway fighters in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions that erupted after Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula in 2014.

Kiev says at least 52 Ukrainian troops have been killed since the beginning of the year, compared to a total of 50 the previous year.

The separatists say they have lost more than 30 soldiers since the beginning of the year.

Ukraine and its Western allies accuse Russia of sending troops and weapons to support the separatists, which Moscow denies.

‘Apocalyptic’

On Friday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said it was conceivable that an “all-out war” could break out with Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed the statement as “apocalyptic”.

Russia and Belarus conducted military exercises involving 200,000 personnel on Friday, one of the country’s largest exercises in recent years.

In April, Russia assembled about 100,000 troops on the borders of Ukraine, raising fears of a major escalation in the protracted conflict. Moscow later announces a withdrawal.

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