An ambush near the east Ukrainian town of Kramatorsk has reportedly killed seven soldiers and one pro-Russian insurgent.
The defence ministry described the attack as the heaviest loss of life for government troops in a single clash since Kyiv sent soldiers to put down a separatist rebellion.
Army spokesman Oleksiy Metreshkivsky, showed the remains of a rocket grenade launcher said to have caused the damage.
“The area where the fight started is a populated area and no one expected it to happen there because you can’t fight there, people are living there and so the terrorists used this to carry out the ambush,” Metreshkivsky said.
On Monday, the pro-Russian separatists who declared independence in Donetsk said that all Ukrainian troops in the region would be viewed as occupying forces and should leave.
Their leaders are calling on Moscow to allow them to become part of the Russian Federation.