Ukraine says one of its soldiers has been killed by rebel forces that were violating a cease-fire in the east.

It was the first reported government loss in fighting since mid-October. A February cease-fire between government and rebel forces has largely held since both sides renewed their commitment to observe the truce Sept. 1.

Oleksander Motuzyanik from the presidential administration said Tuesday that one soldier was killed the day before when government positions came under fire from the direction of the Donetsk airport. The airport was a major flashpoint during the conflict and was largely destroyed last year.

The Russia-backed rebels reported that government troops fired on their positions at the airport for several hours Tuesday.

More than 8,000 people have died in the conflict since it began in 2014.