A Ukrainian soldier shows pieces of shrapnel in a crater left by an explosion in Avdiivka, Ukraine, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017. (AP Photo/Inna Varenytsia)
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Ukraine and Russia blamed each other Tuesday for a surge in fighting in eastern Ukraine in recent days that has led to the highest casualty toll in weeks and cut off power and water to thousands of civilians on the front line.Eight Ukrainian troops have been killed and 26 wounded since fighting intensified Sunday – the heaviest losses for the military since mid-December, according to government figures.The latest clashes mark the first significant escalation in Ukraine since the inauguration of U.S. President Donald Trump, whose call for better relations with Moscow has alarmed Kiev while the conflict remains unresolved.Close to 10,000 people have been killed since fighting between Ukrainian troops and rebels seeking independence from Kiev erupted in April 2014 .
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