14 Ukrainian soldiers killed, 172 wounded in Donbas conflict zone in last day
Fourteen Ukrainian soldiers were killed and another 172 were wounded in the Donbas conflict zone in the last 24 hours, National Security and Defense Council spokesman Andriy Lysenko said at a briefing in Kyiv on Thursday, according to an UNIAN correspondent.
"Over the last day, we have lost 14 Ukrainian soldiers, and another 172 were injured as a result of military clashes," Lysenko said.
More than 90% of the personnel of the Ukrainian armed forces have already withdrawn from Debaltseve in the east of Ukraine, the spokesman for the government’s Anti-Terrorist Operation said earlier.
As UNIAN reported earlier, on February 12, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President François Hollande held talks in Minsk to resolve the conflict in the Donbas.
Following the talks, the parties approved a package of measures aimed at the implementation of the Minsk agreements of September. In addition, the leaders of Ukraine, France, Germany and the Russian Federation adopted a declaration in support of these measures.
In addition to other provisions of the new agreements reached by the "Normandy Four" leaders on Thursday, the parties agreed on a ceasefire to be effective from 0000, February 15, as well as the withdrawal of all heavy weapons. The agreements also provide for the release and exchange of all prisoners.
Despite the fact that a ceasefire was supposed to come into force, fighting continued in the area near Debaltseve - a road and rail hub and an important military objective for the Russian-backed militants.