Ukraine's president lauds renewed cease-fire in the east

KIEV: Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has lauded the renewed cease-fire in the east, saying that not a single Ukrainian soldier has died in fighting this week.

The military conflict in Ukraine's industrial heartland has left more than 6,800 dead and despite a cease-fire declared in February artillery strikes from both sides were still a daily occurrence when both parties pledged last week to finally implement the truce starting Sept. 1.

Poroshenko said Saturday that this is the first week in the year-long conflict when no soldier has been killed in fighting. Several servicemen, however, died from land mines and in car accidents.

Poroshenko said the shelling did not stop completely but the number of artillery strikes dropped from up to 200 a day to just a few now.