Conflict in Ukraine

A convoy of Ukrainian armed forces including armoured personnel carriers, military vehicles and cannons prepare to move as they pull back from Debaltseve region, in Paraskoviyvka

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Ukraine said on Friday three soldiers had been killed, the first fatalities in several days in the war-torn east, as a shaky truce with pro-Russian rebels appeared to gain some traction with an apparent weapons pull-back.

Isolated skirmishes highlighted the fragile situation as the UN discussed the conflict exactly one year after Russia and pro-Moscow forces began seizing ports and cities on the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea.

Ukrainian military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said the fighting had halted along most of the frontline but there were still clashes in villages around the ruins of Donetsk airport, one of the most fought-over prizes in the conflict, which fell to the rebels last month.

Russia's annexation of the peninsula from Ukraine sparked the worst East-West standoff since the Cold War. (AFP)

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