Ukraine president to visit frontline amid tensions with Russia

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Apr 08, 2021, 04:26 PM(IST)

File photo of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Photograph:( AFP )

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In recent weeks, fighting between Ukrainian army and separatists has intensified. This has raised fears of a major escalation in conflict over the majority Russian-speaking Donbas region

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday was travelling to Ukraine's eastern frontline. His visit came after increased clashes with separatist forces and tension with Russia.

In recent weeks, fighting between Ukrainian army and separatists has intensified. This has raised fears of a major escalation in conflict over the majority Russian-speaking Donbas region.

On Thursday, Ukraine military said that another of its soldiers had been killed. 25 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed. In the whole of 2020, fifty Ukrainian soldiers were killed.

Zelensky, who has appealed to Ukraine's Western allies for support, was due to visit positions where a ceasefire "has been systematically violated in recent days" and Ukrainian soldiers killed or wounded, the presidency said in a statement.

"I want to be with our soldiers in the tough times in Donbas," Zelensky said. "Going to the locations of the escalation.... Ukraine needs peace and will do everything for this."

Fighting in the conflict, which erupted after Russia's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, subsided last year as a new ceasefire agreement took hold.

But clashes, mainly involving artillery and mortar fire, have picked up again since the start of the year, with both sides blaming each other.

Last week, Ukraine also accused Russia of bringing thousands of military personnel on northern, eastern borders in addition to on Crimean peninsula.

The separatists are widely seen as having Russia's political and military backing, which Moscow denies.

(With AFP inputs)

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