May 8, 2015 / 10:04 AM / in 3 years

Two Ukrainian serviceman killed, 26 wounded in past 24 hours: Ukrainian military

KIEV (Reuters) - Two Ukrainian servicemen were killed and 26 wounded in separatist eastern territories over the past 24 hours, Ukraine’s military said on Friday, as attacks continued despite a ceasefire.

Newly mobilized Ukrainian paratroopers fire anti-tank grenade launchers during a military drill near Zhytomyr April 9, 2015. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko

In a speech to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said he would stick to the Minsk peace agreements that the separatists accuse him of violating.

“Questions of war and peace are as relevant today as ever before ... No matter how much my peace plan is criticized, I will not swerve from this path,” he told parliament.

Violence has fallen significantly since a peace accord was signed in Minsk, Belarus, in February, but both government troops and pro-Russian rebels accuse the other side of violations and casualties are reported almost daily.

“Banned weapons are used all along the frontline ... this is evidence of deliberate attempts by the enemy to sabotage the Minsk agreements,” Ukrainian military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said in a televised briefing.

He said rebels had fired mortars at government positions and described the situation near the rebel-held town of Horlivka, north of Donetsk, as the most intense, with separatists firing from tanks and guns.

Meanwhile, rebel officials accused Ukrainian troops of firing at Horlivka and reported that one civilian had been wounded in the attack, separatist news agency DAN said.

He said 1,675 Ukrainian soldiers had been killed since the rebellion erupted last April. Over 6,100 people have died as a result of the conflict, according to UN figures.

Reporting by Natalia Zinets; Writing by Alessandra Prentice; editing by Ralph Boulton

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