KIEV, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) -- At least 43 people, including 34 civilians,were killed during the battles in eastern Ukraine over the last 24 hours, authorities said Wednesday.
Nine government troops were killed and 12 others wounded in fights with independence-seeking insurgents during the operation to encircle the rebel strongholds in Lugansk and Donetsk regions, said Andrei Lysenko, spokesman for the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC).
Most of the casualties were caused by the fighting that erupted near the Ilovaysk town, which lies on the highway, connecting the two centers of rebel activity -- the cities of Donetsk and Lugansk.
According to the NSDC, insurgents deployed tanks and heavy artillery during the fighting. As of Wednesday morning, government troops have claimed to have taken control over Ilovaysk.
Meanwhile, at least 34 civilians were killed and 29 other wounded during battles in other cities and towns across Donetsk region over the past day, said the press service of Donetsk city council.
In total, at least 951 people have been killed in Donetsk region since violence began, it added.
The exact number of casualties in the neighboring Lugansk region is still unclear.
The conflict, which erupted in eastern Ukraine in mid-April, claimed the lives of over 2,000 people and injured thousands of others, local experts estimated.
KIEV, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) -- Ukraine stands ready to ensure safe passage of a Russian humanitarian aid convoy through the territory controlled by government troops, Foreign Ministry spokesman Eugene Perebiynis said here Tuesday.
"Ukraine has repeatedly reaffirmed its commitment to providing security guarantee in the territory which is controlled by the forces of the anti-terror operation," Perebiynis told reporters during a briefing. Full Story