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Ukraine's president lauds renewed cease-fire in rebel-held east

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KIEV, Ukraine — Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has lauded the renewed cease-fire in the east, saying that not a single Ukrainian soldier has died in fighting this week.

PHOTO: Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko, left, and parliament speaker Volodymyr Groisman lay flowers by the photo of a police officer who was killed in a Monday clash, in front of Parliament in Kiev, Ukraine, Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015. Ukrainian police say 141 people remain hospitalized after a nationalist protest in Kiev turned violent, with 10 of the injured in serious condition. Two officers died from their wounds. (Anastasiia Sirotkina, Pool photo via AP)
Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko, left, and parliament speaker Volodymyr Groisman lay flowers by the photo of a police officer who was killed in a Monday clash, in front of Parliament in Kiev, Ukraine, Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015. Ukrainian police say 141 people remain hospitalized after a nationalist protest in Kiev turned violent, with 10 of the injured in serious condition. Two officers died from their wounds. (Anastasiia Sirotkina, Pool photo via AP)

The military conflict in Ukraine's industrial heartland has left more than 6,800 dead and despite a cease-fire declared in February artillery strikes from both sides were still a daily occurrence when both parties pledged last week to finally implement the truce starting Sept. 1.

Poroshenko said Saturday that this is the first week in the year-long conflict when no soldier has been killed in fighting. Several servicemen, however, died from land mines and in car accidents.

Poroshenko said the shelling did not stop completely but the number of artillery strikes dropped from up to 200 a day to just a few now.

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