Saturday 01 January 2022
Books – Masrawy:
A Ukrainian soldier fell in battles with pro-Russian separatists in the east of the country, on Saturday, threatening the tension between the two sides to reach the line of fire.
In a statement, on Saturday, the Ukrainian army announced that a “soldier was fatally wounded”, accusing the separatists of carrying out 3 attacks in the past 24 hours.
This is the first soldier to be killed since the two warring sides returned to a ceasefire agreement last month, in a conflict that has claimed more than 13,000 lives eight years ago.
Since 2014, Kiev has been fighting a pro-Moscow rebellion in two breakaway regions on the border with Russia, when the latter annexed Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula.
Kiev accuses Moscow of providing financial and military support to the separatists in this conflict, which the latter denies.
On December 22, the two sides to the conflict agreed to restore a ceasefire agreement reached in July 2020 in eastern Ukraine, but the next day, Kiev and the separatists accused each other of new violations.
Already deteriorating relations between Russia and Ukraine have reached the height of their tension, amid accusations from Western countries that Moscow is massing tens of thousands of soldiers near the Ukrainian border with the aim of a possible invasion of Kiev.
Moscow denies any intention to invade Ukraine and says it is threatened by “provocations” from Kiev and NATO, which it demands not to expand into the former Soviet republics.
It is expected that these demands will be discussed during Russian-American negotiations scheduled for this January.
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