2 Ukrainian troops killed in fighting in country's east

Ukraine's defense ministry says at least two troops have been killed in the past 24 hours in renewed fighting in eastern Ukraine.

Fighting between Russia-backed separatists and Ukrainian government troops has killed more than 9,600 people since the conflict began in April 2014. A 2015 cease-fire deal did not completely stop fighting but did lower its intensity.

Andriy Lysenko, the ministry's spokesman, said in a statement on Wednesday that one Ukrainian soldier has been held captive while eight more have been injured in the past 24 hours, south of the rebel stronghold of Donetsk.

Ukraine earlier accused the rebels of trying to push through government positions.

Ukrainian analysts have described fighting earlier this week as the worst since this summer.