DONETSK, February 1. /TASS/. More than 200 Ukrainian troops were killed or wounded since the recent escalation of fighting in Donbass, the head of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, Alexander Zakharchenko, told reporters on Wednesday.
"The Ukrainian Armed Forces are suffering great losses. Over the past days, more than 200 people were killed and wounded," Zakharchenko was quoted by the Donetsk News Agency as saying.
Zakharchenko said all Donetsk republic's forces remain at their positions and have no plans to retreat.
In the past two days, armed clashes intensified near the town of Avdeyevka and the settlement of Yasinovataya close to the line separating the areas controlled by the Kiev government and the self-proclaimed republics of eastern Ukraine. The Kiev government blamed the eastern Ukrainian militia for the escalation of the conflict.
However, according to the military authorities of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, the Ukrainian servicemen launched their offense as early as Sunday evening, but had to withdraw to their initial positions due to fierce resistance.