Two killed as clashes threaten fragile Ukraine truce

Ukrainian fighters with the Azov volunteer battalion take part in military exercises near the southeastern city of Mariupol, on February 27, 2015Two people have been killed by shelling in east Ukraine as isolated clashes rattled a shaky truce with pro-Russian rebels and observers warned the country was at a “crossroads”. Photographer Sergiy Nikolayev from Ukrainian daily Segodnya died after getting caught in fighting at a flashpoint village close to the fiercely-contested Donetsk airport, the newspaper said in a statement. Kiev military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said fighting had halted along most of the frontline but rebels were firing at Ukrainian positions around the ruined airport, one of the most fiercely contested locations in the conflict. The two warring sides both said they were continuing the withdrawal of heavy weapons from the front — a key next step in a stuttering European-brokered peace plan to end fighting that has cost at least 5,800 lives since April.

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