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    Eight Donetsk Republic Soldiers Killed in Donbass Over Past Week

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    Eight Donetsk People's Republic soldiers lost their lives in the fight against Ukrainian troops over the past week.

    DONETSK (Sputnik) – Eight militiamen of the People’s Republic of Donetsk (DPR) were killed and five others were wounded in the fight with the Ukrainian forces over the past week, a spokesperson for the DPR Ombudsman’s Office said Friday.

    "From March 17 to March 23, continued attacks on the DPR territory [carried out] by the Ukrainian side resulted in various degrees of injuries to 17 people, including five militia members. Eight militiamen died in the same period," the spokesperson told journalists.

    On March 3, the spokesperson announced that 60 people were killed in DPR in January and February and a total of 4,349 people were killed in the self-proclaimed republic since the start of the military conflict in 2014. Two weeks later, UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine (UNMMU) said almost 10,000 casualties had been recorded among the Ukrainian Armed Forces, militias and civilians in Donbass since the beginning of the military conflict.

    The Donbass conflict erupted in April 2014 as a local counter-reaction to the West-sponsored Maidan coup in Kiev that had toppled President Viktor Yanukovych in February. Residents of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions held independence referendums and proclaimed the People's Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. Kiev has since been conducting a military operation, encountering stiff local resistance.

    In February 2015, Kiev forces and Donbass independence supporters signed a peace agreement in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. The deal stipulates a full ceasefire, weapons withdrawal from the line of contact in Donbass, as well as constitutional reforms that would give a special status to the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics. Despite the agreement brokered by the Normandy Four states, the ceasefire regime is regularly violated, with both sides accusing each other of multiple breaches, undermining the terms of the accord.

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    Donetsk People's Republic, Ukrainian crisis, Donbass, Ukraine, Donetsk
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