KIEV, (Pakistan Point News - APP - 18th August, 2016) - Ukraine said on Thursday that pro-Russian rebels had killed three of its soldiers in the worst violence seen in the separatist east for a year. Military spokesman Oleksandr Motuzyanyk said insurgent attacks had doubled from the previous day as tensions between Kiev and Moscow have soared over Kremlin charges that Ukraine plotted to make armed incursions into Russian-annexed Crimea this month.
"The rebels launched more than 500 mortar and over 300 artillery shells at our positions," Motuzyanyk told reporters in Kiev. "The last time we witnessed a similar intensity of fire using heavy armaments was a year ago." Ukraine and its Western allies say that Moscow is simply trying to escalate a 28-month separatist conflict in the country's east that has claimed more than 9,500 lives and began just weeks after Russia annexed the Black Sea peninsula in March 2014.