2 Ukrainian soldiers killed as Russian-backed militants use banned weapons

A soldier weeps in front of the portraits of the killed in Ilovaisk Ukrainian soldiers as he attends a commemoration ceremony at Mykhailivska Square in Kyiv on Aug. 29, 2019.Photo by Volodymyr Petrov

Two Ukrainian soldiers were killed in the Donbas on Jan. 26. One soldier has been fatally wounded early in the day after the Russian-backed militants shelled the Ukrainian military positions in Donbas with the use of the arms banned by the Minsk peace agreements, Ukraine’s military reported.

Later in the day, an explosion of an unidentified device killed one soldier and wounded another one.

The Russian proxy troops shelled the Ukrainian positions near the town of Novotoshkivske and the village of Orikhove in Luhansk Oblast, and also near the town of Krasnohorivka and the village of Lebedynske in Donetsk Oblast.   

The shelling occurred when many soldiers, who were not on the duty shift, “were preparing for the Sunday prayer,” the report published on Facebook said.   

The Russian-backed militants shelled from the infantry fighting vehicles, grenade launchers and the 82 and 120 mm caliber mortars, which are banned from use by the peace deal signed in Minsk, Belarus, in February 2015. 

Ukrainian soldiers responded with shooting at the enemy side but they didn’t use any prohibited weapons, the report said. 

In the sixth year of Russia’s war against Ukraine in Donbas that claimed some 14,000 lives, soldiers keep on being killed regardless of the many agreements to stop any hostilities being reached over this time. 

Any shooting was supposed to be stopped starting from this year based on the agreement between Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and French President Emmanuelle Macron reached in Paris on Dec. 9.

This, however, never happened. At least 10 more Ukrainian soldiers have been killed since the beginning of 2020. At least 110 Ukrainian soldiers were killed in 2019, the General Staff reported. Overall, 3,057 Ukrainian soldiers were killed since the start of the war in 2014. 

The Special Monitoring Mission of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which is observing the frontline, reported that on Dec. 25 that the number of ceasefire violations rose over the last days. They said in the report that there were more shootings and explosions on Dec. 25 than on average in December 2019.

(C)KIYV POST 2020    

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