Shelling in eastern Ukraine wounds troops and civilians

Ukraine said on Thursday that shelling from rebel-held areas in the east had wounded at least six troops and disrupted railway services, while the Russian-backed separatists said two civilians had been wounded in shelling from the Ukrainian side.

It was the second reported flareup in since late August in the conflict which began in 2014 and has continued despite an official ceasefire in 2015.

The shelling began at 8 a.m. (0500 GMT) near Skotuvata station, around 20 km (12 miles) north of the city of Donetsk, Ukraine's state railway said. The mainly Russian-speaking city is under the control of the separatists but areas to the north are controlled by the Ukrainian government.

"The shells are falling at a distance of 2 km from the station. There is no infrastructure damage for now. For the safety of the station workers and passengers, they were promptly evacuated to shelters," the railway, Ukrzaliznytsya, said.

The movement of suburban trains was restricted, it said.

The separatists said two civilians in Donetsk had been wounded in shelling from the Ukrainian military, which it said had violated the ceasefire seven times overnight.

"Ukrainian howitzers fired this morning. We were forced to answer ... And today is silence, we silenced them," Eduard Basurin, separatist representative, told Reuters.

The Ukrainian military said at least six troops had been wounded during the night.

Ukraine has repeatedly called for Moscow to re-commit to a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine, where Russian-backed forces have fought Ukrainian troops in a conflict that Kyiv says has killed 14,000 people since 2014, when Moscow also annexed Crimea.

Moscow says it is supporting the legitimate rights of Russian speakers in Ukraine, a former Soviet republic which has sought closer ties with the West.

The Ukrainian government said eight troops had been wounded civilian infrastructure damaged and the railway disrupted by shelling in late August, days before Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelenskiy met U.S. President Joe Biden on Sept. 1.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Aug. 20 that he had the impression that the Ukrainian leadership had decided against a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

(Reporting by Pavel Polityuk in KYIV and Anton Zverev in MOSCOW; editing by Philippa Fletcher)


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