Ukraine reports two killed in clashes with pro-Russians

UKRAINEEUkraine on Friday reported the death of two soldiers in continuing clashes following failed talks on bringing an end to the 16-month war in the former Soviet country’s pro-Russian east.

Military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said seven servicemen were also wounded but gave no other details.

The two sides and Russia failed to make any progress during three days of European-mediated negotiations this week that hoped to salvage a widely-ignored ceasefire deal signed nearly six months ago.

The United Nations estimates that the conflict — sparked by the February 2014 ouster in Kiev of a Moscow-backed president — has killed more than 6,800 people and driven at least 1.4 million from their homes.

Russia denies accusations by Ukraine and its allies of orchestrating and supporting the conflict to try to prevent the former Soviet state establishing closer ties with the West.

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