Ukraine Conflict Grinds on as First Deaths Reported After Truce

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(Bloomberg) — The conflict in Ukraine escalated with the first deaths since a cease-fire went into effect after midnight on Feb. 15 as government troops battled pro-Russian militants. Five government soldiers were killed and 25 wounded in fighting near the strategic port city of Mariupol, Ukrainian military spokesman Dmytro Chalyi said by phone on Monday. Debaltseve, a key rail junction, was the focus of shelling by insurgents, according to the Defense Ministry in Kiev. Rebels blame Ukraine for repeatedly violating the cease-fire, according to comments carried by the separatist-run DAN news service. The combat marred the latest effort to defuse the almost one-year crisis that’s killed more…

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