Europe

Ukraine: 2 soldiers wounded but fighting declines

  • A local resident walking in a street is seen through a hole in an apartment building damaged by shelling in Avdiivka, Ukraine, Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017. Fighting in eastern Ukraine sharply escalated this week. The Ukrainian command said Saturday that several soldiers were killed in the past day. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

    A local resident walking in a street is seen through a hole in an apartment building damaged by shelling in Avdiivka, Ukraine, Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017. Fighting in eastern Ukraine sharply escalated this week. The Ukrainian command said Saturday that several soldiers were killed in the past day. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)  (The Associated Press)

  • A Ukrainian serviceman patrols at the humanitarian aid center in Avdiivka, Ukraine, Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017. Fighting in eastern Ukraine sharply escalated this week. Ukraine's military said several soldiers were killed over the past day in shelling in eastern Ukraine, where fighting has escalated over the past week. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

    A Ukrainian serviceman patrols at the humanitarian aid center in Avdiivka, Ukraine, Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017. Fighting in eastern Ukraine sharply escalated this week. Ukraine's military said several soldiers were killed over the past day in shelling in eastern Ukraine, where fighting has escalated over the past week. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)  (The Associated Press)

  • Ukrainian servicemen give free food to local residents at the humanitarian aid center in Avdiivka, Ukraine, Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017. Fighting in eastern Ukraine sharply escalated this week. Ukraine's military said several soldiers were killed over the past day in shelling in eastern Ukraine, where fighting has escalated over the past week. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

    Ukrainian servicemen give free food to local residents at the humanitarian aid center in Avdiivka, Ukraine, Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017. Fighting in eastern Ukraine sharply escalated this week. Ukraine's military said several soldiers were killed over the past day in shelling in eastern Ukraine, where fighting has escalated over the past week. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)  (The Associated Press)

Ukraine's military says two soldiers were wounded in fighting with rebels in the separatist east, but that artillery attacks were significantly lower after a week in which fighting surged.

The rebels' command on Sunday reported scores of mortar and tank firings by government forces. Eduard Basurin, spokesman for the rebel military command in Donetsk, did not report any casualties.

A sharp escalation in fighting over the past week has killed at least 33 people, centering on Avdiivka, a government-held town just north of rebel-controlled Donetsk. Nearly 180 homes or apartments in the town of 35,000 people were damaged in the shelling, according to Pavlo Zhebrivsky, a government official in the Donetsk region.

More than 9,800 have died from fighting between troops and Russia-backed rebels since April 2014.