March 4, 2015 / 9:20 AM / 4 years ago

Violence in east Ukraine kills one government serviceman: military source

KIEV (Reuters) - One Ukrainian government serviceman was killed and another was wounded in eastern Ukraine despite a ceasefire deal with pro-Russian rebels who have taken up arms there, a military source said on Wednesday.

Both Ukrainians and rebels accuse each other of violating a ceasefire agreement that went into effect on Feb. 15. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has called the deal the last chance for peace between Kiev and pro-Russian rebels.

Vladislav Seleznyov, a military spokesman, said pro-Russian rebels had fired on Ukrainian positions 47 times in the last day, mostly near the rebel stronghold of Donetsk.

The conflict has plunged ties between Russia and the West to Cold War era-lows, and continuing violence has slowed down other aspects of the peace deal agreed last month in Minsk, including the withdrawal of heavy weapons from the front line.

Washington and Brussels accuse Moscow of arming the separatists and reinforcing their ranks with Russian troops. Russia has repeatedly denied involvement and blames the United States for pushing the pro-Western government in Kiev to war.

Reporting by Pavel Polityuk, Writing by Thomas Grove; Editing by Toby Chopra

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