Europe

Up to 100 Ukraine forces killed: Luhansk official

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An official in the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) says that as many as 100 members of the Ukrainian armed forces have been killed over the past 24 hours in Ukraine’s east.

The Norossia News Agency quoted Serhiy Kozlov, the chief of staff of the LPR police, as making the claim on Thursday.

“The enemy has sustained heavy losses. The enemy’s irrecoverable losses amounted to up to 100 people, four tanks, four armored personnel carriers, four automobiles, and two mortar batteries,” Kozlov said.

According to Kozlov, the clashes took place as Ukrainian forces escalated their attacks against Luhansk communities. He said that the Ukrainian artillery strikes “were delivered yesterday on the populated areas of Stakhanov, Donetsky, Pryshyb, Sokilnyky, Smile, Frunze, Vesela Hora, and Obozne.”

Meanwhile, preliminary reports suggest that 16 civilians were killed on Wednesday in Stakhanov, Krasny Luch, and Luhansk since Wednesday. At least 114 others have been injured during the same time period.

Donetsk and Luhansk, located in eastern Ukraine and having mainly Russian-speaking populations, have been the scene of deadly clashes between pro-Russia forces and the Ukrainian army since Kiev’s military operation started in April 2014 in a bid to crush the protests.

Violence intensified in May 2014 after the two flashpoint regions held local referendums in which their residents voted overwhelmingly in favor of independence from Ukraine and joining the Russian Federation.

The fighting has left more than 5,000 people killed and over 1.5 million displaced, the United Nations says.

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