Tensions on the rise again along eastern Ukraine as Russian-backed separatists clash with Ukrainian forces

Kiev April 4 2021: Russian-backed separatists accused Ukrainian forces of killing a child in a drone attack on Saturday, as Kiev reported the death of one of its soldiers in a mine explosion.

Kiev has been battling pro-Russian separatists in the eastern Donetsk and Lugansk regions since 2014, following Moscow’s annexation of the Crimean peninsula. Reports emerged of Russian troop movements and an escalation of armed clashes, while Moscow and Kiev’s Western allies exchanged warnings.

Self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic claimed that a five-year-old child was killed and a woman injured on Saturday in a Ukrainian drone attack. A report by the DPR’s news agency has not provided any images of the aftermath of the attack allegedly carried out in the village of Oleksandrivske some 15 km from the front line. The claim cannot be independently verified.

Meanwhile, a Ukrainian soldier was killed when an explosive device went off near the village of Shumy north of the separatist’s de facto capital Donetsk, the army said. “A soldier from the Joint Forces received an injury incompatible with life,” the Ukrainian military said in a statement.

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