A Ukrainian soldier was killed in a fight against pro-Moscow separatists on Saturday

A Ukrainian soldier was killed in a fight against pro-Moscow separatists on Saturday
A Ukrainian soldier was killed in a fight against pro-Moscow separatists on Saturday

The military did not publish details of the soldier’s death.

“One United soldier has been fatally wounded,” the military said in a statement, adding that the separatists had launched three attacks in the past day using grenades and small arms.

The incident came amid heavy tensions between the West and Russia as Moscow mobilized strong forces at the border with Ukraine.

During a conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday, US President Joe Biden once again warned Moscow of a tough response if it invaded Ukraine.

A conversation between Biden and Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky is also scheduled for Sunday.

Speaking on his New Year’s greeting, Zelensky said ending the war in the east remained his “main goal.”

Washington and its allies in Europe accuse Russia of planning a new invasion of neighboring Ukraine.

About 100 thousand people are concentrated at the border with Ukraine. Russian troops. In 2014, Moscow annexed the Ukrainian-owned Crimean peninsula and is also accused of igniting a war in the east of Ukraine that year between the pro-Western Kiev government and pro-Russian separatists.

Moscow says the forces are being mobilized in response to NATO’s expansion plans, although Ukraine has not yet been offered membership in the military alliance.

For the second time in just over three weeks, Biden has been on the phone with Putin for the second time this week, threatening Moscow with heavy economic sanctions if it launches an attack.

The Russian leader replied that sanctions against Moscow would be a “big mistake”.

On December 22, international observers reported that Russia and Ukraine had agreed to rebuild the ceasefire, but the very next day, Kiev and separatists had accused each other of further violations.

The death of the soldier on Saturday is the first since a ceasefire was agreed.

All previous ceasefires, including the ceasefire agreed in July 2020, have collapsed.

Kiev has been fighting pro-Russian rebels in two regions bordering Russia since 2014, when the Kremlin annexed Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula.

More than 13,000 people have already died in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. people.

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