Clashes between Ukrainian forces and separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine have escalated, the worst outbreak of fighting so far this year, officials said Monday.
The headquarters for the Ukrainian operations in the east said two soldiers were killed and another four were wounded in fighting near the village of Yuzhnoye early Monday.
The separatists in the Donetsk region accused Ukraine of using heavy artillery and tanks to shell residential areas. They said four civilians were killed and another four were wounded in Ukrainian shelling last week.
Alexander Hug, a deputy chief of the monitoring mission of the Organization for Security Cooperation in Europe, said it has confirmed that two civilians were killed and another three were injured last week, adding that “we have many more cases pending.”