12 civilians and 5 troops killed in eastern Ukraine

12 civilians and 5 troops killed in eastern Ukraine

KIYV - The Associated Press
12 civilians and 5 troops killed in eastern Ukraine

Ukrainian soldier examines a crater after shelling near Debaltseve, in the Donetsk region. AFP Photo

At least 12 civilians and 5 Ukrainian troops have been killed in the past 24 hours in war-ravaged eastern Ukraine.

Full-blown fighting between Russian-backed separatists and government forces erupted 
anew at the start of January following a month of relative tranquility.

The city hall in the rebel stronghold of Donetsk said on Jan. 30 seven people were killed and 23 wounded as the city remains under constant artillery fire.

Defense Ministry spokesman Vladislav Seleznyov said 5 Ukrainian troops have died in the past 24 hours as the Ukrainian army resists the separatist onslaught on Debaltseve, a railway hub that has been the epicenter of recent fighting. Five civilians were also killed in the fighting there, the ministry for emergencies said.

The European Union extended by six months an existing set of sanctions against Russian and pro-Russia separatist officials because of the continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and was planning further action, officials said on Jan. 29.

“We have shown that the EU is ready to take further measures,” EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini said.

All EU foreign ministers at the meeting in Brussels, including the new Greek minister, agreed on the extension, Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders said, calling it a “strong signal toward Russia.”