Ukrainian armed forces have opened fire 1,223 times on areas of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) adjacent to the contact line in the past 24 hours, DPR defense spokesman Eduard Basurin said on Wednesday.
“The enemy hurled 125 mortars (82mm and 120mm) and 1,010 projectiles from different types of grenade launchers into the republic’s territory,” the Donetsk news agency quoted Basurin as saying. “Moreover, infantry fighting vehicles and small arms were used.”
The DPR intelligence service spotted three 120mm mortars nearby the town of Yasinovataya and at least three tanks nearby the town of Telmanovo.
On December 21, the Contact Group seeking to find a solution to the Donbass crisis agreed that the ceasefire in Donbass would come into effect at midnight on December 24, ahead of Christmas and New Year holiday celebrations. The current attempt to reach an “indefinite” ceasefire in Donbass has become the tenth since the conflict erupted in southeastern Ukraine.
During his visit to Donbass on January 3-4, OSCE new Chairperson-in-Office, Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz outlined the priority task for the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) in Ukraine to ensure the ceasefire. He also announced the mission would expand its control over the entire territory of Donbass so as to halt hostilities there.