KYIV - Ukraine and Russia-backed separatists blamed each other for an outbreak of fighting in the country's rebel-held east on Tuesday. Ukraine's military said in a statement that the separatists attempted to advance into the Ukraine-controlled territory but were repelled. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy denounced the attack as a “cynical provocation.”
Separatist authorities in the Luhansk region, however, blamed Ukraine for starting the fighting. They claimed the fighting erupted when a group of Ukrainian soldiers tried to make an incursion into rebel-held territory near the village of Holubovske, but got into a minefield.
The chief of the General Staff of Ukraine's armed forces, Colonel-General Ruslan Khomchak, said one Ukrainian soldier was killed and another five were wounded in combat. He said four separatists were killed and six others were wounded.
The separatists said two Ukrainian troops were killed and three others were wounded and the Ukrainian forces launched an artillery barrage to cover their evacuation.
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