Spokesperson for the United States Department of State Heather Nauert said at the briefing that Washington condemns latest violence in eastern Ukraine and calls on Russia to observe the ceasefire. This was reported by the Associated Press.
Ukraine's military says nine soldiers have died in the east where Ukrainian forces and Russia-backed rebels have been fighting for more than three years. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert says that five deaths were in clashes that appear to have been initiated by what she described as Russian-led forces.
Nauert says the U.S. is asking the Russia-supported troops to abide by the terms of a cease-fire deal for eastern Ukraine that was signed in early 2015 but never fully implemented. She says the U.S. calls on those forces to allow international monitors to have "full, safe and unfettered" access to the conflict zone.
As it was reported earlier nine Ukrainian soldiers were killed in Donbas, according to Ukraine's Defense Ministry. Another five soldiers were injured.