Kyiv says another soldier was seriously injured by artillery fire by Russian-backed separatists in the east of the country.
The Ukrainian military said one soldier was killed and another seriously injured in artillery fire by Russian-backed separatist rebels during hostilities. increase sharply in the east of the country.
In the attack reported on Sunday, Ukraine said 27 soldiers were killed in the east this year, more than half of the death toll in 2020.
Russia denies claims by the West that it has sent troops to eastern Ukraine to aid the rebels, but officials say the military could intervene if Ukraine attempts to retake the area by the way. strength.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned on Sunday that “if Russia acts recklessly or aggressively, there will be costs, there will be consequences.”
In recent weeks, fighting has intensified between the Ukrainian army and pro-Russian separatists in the east of the country, with signs of a formation of troops in the region, raising concerns about a major escalation of the long-standing conflict.
Ukraine accused Russia of assembling thousands of military personnel on its northern and eastern borders as well as on the annexed Crimean peninsula.
The Kremlin said on Sunday that it was not going to war with Ukraine, but that it “will not remain indifferent” to the plight of Russian speakers in the conflict-torn region.
Meanwhile, Moscow has said it fears a resumption of large-scale fighting in eastern Ukraine and may take steps to protect civilians there. Kiev has declared that it will not launch offensive against Russian-backed separatists.
Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed separatists have been fighting in eastern Ukraine since shortly after Moscow’s annexation of the Crimean Peninsula in 2014.
The conflict in eastern Ukraine has killed more than 13,000 people and has become a stubborn problem in Moscow’s relations with the West.
Fighting has calmed down in recent years, but a diplomatic solution to resolve the status of the eastern region has remained elusive.
Crimea is still recognized as part of Ukraine by the United Nations, and Kiev says it will one day win it back.
US President Joe Biden, who previously oversaw Washington’s Ukraine policy, is seen as a strong ally by the Ukrainians and his senior diplomat Blinken, in talks this week with his French and German counterparts, agreed to back the ‘Ukraine against “Russian provocations”.