Russian-led separatist forces attacked Ukrainian positions in the regions of Vodiane, Marinka and Chermalyk on Thursday, September 6. Local authorities had already reported 31 separate strikes the previous day against Ukrainian forces in the Joint Force Operation (JFO) area in Donetsk, which left three dead and eight wounded.
Clashes between Ukrainian state forces and Russian-backed separatists have been taking place on a regular basis despite a number of ceasefire agreements made since 2014. According to the UN, more than 10,300 people have died since the eastern Ukraine conflict erupted in April 2014, soon after Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula. The fighting has displaced more than 1.6 million people. The separatists remain in control of a large swath of territory in Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts, which are mainly Russian-speaking regions. Ukraine has designated the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) as a terrorist organization.
Due to the ongoing conflict, many Western governments advise against travel to the far east of Ukraine, including the cities of Donetsk, Horlivka, Makiyivka, Mariupol, and Luhansk.
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