Donetsk - Ukrainian forces fended off an attack by pro-Russian separatists on a border post in the east of the country late on Thursday in the second major attack on a post straddling Ukraine and Russia in recent days.
Five Ukrainian forces were wounded and several Soviet-era trucks used by the rebels were destroyed in the attack on Marynivka, about 95km east of the regional capital Donetsk, the border guard service said in an English-language statement. The attack was eventually repelled by air strikes.
A spokesman later said the border service had “preliminary information” that 15 separatists had been killed in the fighting.
The insurgency in Ukraine has escalated in the past two weeks, killing scores and prompting some families to flee their homes.
Ukrainian forces have intensified their campaign against separatists, who hold key administration buildings in several towns in eastern Ukraine including Donetsk, since the landslide election of president-elect Petro Poroshenko on May 25.
Poroshenko was in France on Friday to attend the commemoration of the Allied D-Day landings in World War 2. Informal talks on Ukraine's crisis may take place among several world leaders who are attending, including US President Barack Obama.
Poroshenko, who will be sworn into office on Saturday, has said he will soon announce a peace plan for the region, where pro-Russian rebellions broke out after the ousting of Moscow-leaning President Viktor Yanukovich and the installment of a new pro-European government. - Reuters