Ukraine scrambled jet fighters to strike at rebel positions early on Saturday, after separatists resumed missile attacks on government forces near the frontier with Russia, the border guard service said. In a night of violence in several areas of eastern Ukraine following a missile strike by separatists on Friday that killed at least 23 government servicemen, Ukrainian forces also used artillery to respond to rebel fire, the military said. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko had pledged to "find and destroy" the pro-Russian rebels responsible for the missile attack at Zelenopillya, which also wounded nearly 100.
At least two more Ukrainian soldiers were killed and about 20 injured on Saturday in a mortar and missile bombardment by the rebels of army checkpoints at Dyakove and Nyzhnoderevechka near Luhansk, the government's "anti-terrorist" operation said. Luhansk, like the main industrial city of Donetsk, is controlled by pro-Russian separatists who set up 'people's republics' in Russian-speaking areas and declared a wish to join Russia in response to a pro-Western revolt in the capital Kiev.