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"The SMM recorded more ceasefire violations in Donetsk region on both December 17 and December 18, including some 700 and 2,900 explosions, respectively, compared with some 100 explosions in the previous reporting period. The majority of ceasefire violations were recorded in the areas around Svitlodarsk and Debaltseve," the OSCE SMM said in an update on Monday, December 19.

Over a span of six hours on December 18, the SMM heard 700 explosions assessed as 680 outgoing artillery rounds (122mm) 5-6km and 8-10km north-west, and 20 outgoing tank rounds 3-10km south-west.

The SMM also observed the loss of electricity in Svitlodarsk as of approximately 17:00 local time on December 18; it was restored around four hours later.

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"On December 18, the SMM heard 43 explosions assessed as outgoing MLRS rounds as well as 1,900 undetermined explosions, all 2-10km north-west and north-north-west. Positioned about 3km north-east of Debaltseve, the SMM heard approximately 70 explosions assessed as artillery rounds approximately 7km north-west," the update said.

As UNIAN reported earlier, the combined Russian-separatist forces attacked Ukrainian troops at Svitlodarska Duha on December 18.

"There were three fire raids lasting from three to six hours each. In general, during this period, 34 shells of 122mm caliber, 694 mines of 120mm and 82mm calibers were launched on our units," Chief of the Joint Operations Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU), Lieutenant-General Oleksandr Sirskiy said on Monday.

Read alsoNumber of Ukraine WIA's grows to 26 as Svitlodarska Duha shelling continues – mediaAn official report said that five Ukrainian soldiers had been killed, and six had been wounded.

The Anti-Terrorist Operation Headquarters said that the casualties were the heaviest the AFU had sustained in the past five months.