MOSCOW: The Ukrainian government says three of its servicemen have been killed and seven others wounded in the past 24 hours in clashes with Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine.
The Interfax news agency said presidential administration spokesman Oleksandr Motuzyanyk reported the sharp uptick in fighting at a briefing in Kiev on Tuesday.
He accused the rebels of violating the cease-fire 79 times, often firing heavy weapons that were supposed to have been withdrawn under the cease-fire agreement reached in Minsk a year ago.
Representatives of Ukraine, Russia and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe — members of the so-called Contact Group working to implement the agreement — will meet Wednesday in Belarus.
More than 9,000 people have been killed since the conflict began in April 2014.