"Despite the ceasefire deal, the Russian occupation forces did not stop shelling our strong points although there was de-escalation in general. In the past day, the enemy mounted nine attacks on our positions, all of them were targeted. The Ukrainian army did not fire back, strictly observing the truce," press secretary of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry for Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) issues Oleksandr Motuzianyk said at a briefing in Kyiv on Sunday, December 24.
Read alsoRussian occupation troops violate "Christmas ceasefire" – ATO HQAccording to Motuzianyk, the militants violated the ceasefire seven times in the Luhansk sector alone. The first attack on the Ukrainian positions near the town of Svitlodarsk began at 10:45 local time and lasted for two hours. The enemy used infantry weapons and infantry fighting vehicles. In the evening, the Ukrainian positions came under 82mm mortar fire. Then, the enemy lobbed three shells into an area where Ukrainian troops were deployed.
The situation near the village of Luhanske was also tense, Motuzianyk added. Shelling there began at 11:30 and lasted almost until 17:00. The invaders fired four 82mm mortar rounds in the direction of Ukrainian positions simultaneously with an attack with the use of infantry combat vehicles, anti-aircraft guns and small arms, including sniping weapons.
Later, during the day, Ukrainian military's positions near Luhanske were attacked three more times, however, the enemy did not use mortars.
Two enemy provocations were registered in the Donetsk sector yesterday, Motuzianyk added.
"Our positions near the town of Avdiyivka came under fire from a large-caliber machine gun, which lasted for half an hour, and small arms were used to fire at a stronghold near the village of Lebedynske. Realizing it was a provocation, our military did not return fire," he said.
The press center of the ATO Headquarters earlier reported about three violations of the ceasefire by militants in Donbas on December 23. One Ukrainian soldier was killed by an enemy sniper on that day.
As UNIAN reported earlier, the Trilateral Contact Group for the settlement of the Donbas crisis agreed in Minsk, Belarus, on December 20 that the parties to the conflict would adhere to the ceasefire from midnight on December 23, which was dubbed "Christmas ceasefire."