3 government troops killed in eastern Ukraine

3 government troops killed in eastern Ukraine

MOSCOW — Ukrainian authorities said Wednesday three of its troops have been killed and four wounded in eastern Ukraine in an apparent flare-up of fighting between government troops and Russia-backed separatists.

The press office for the Ukrainian government’s operation in the east said their positions came under fire 65 times in the 24 hours to early Wednesday. It appeared to be the worst loss of lives reported in weeks.

In the rebel stronghold of Donetsk, rebel commander Eduard Basurin told the local media outlet Donetsk News Agency that one of its fighters was killed and two wounded in shelling by Ukrainian troops on Tuesday.

The armed conflict in Ukraine’s industrial heartland has claimed more than 9,900 lives since it began in 2014. In a move that further cements Russia’s control over parts of eastern Ukraine, Moscow announced Tuesday it would supply electricity to rebel-controlled areas after the Ukrainian government cut off power because of a heavy backlog of unpaid bills.

The Associated Press