Heavy fires exchange in eastern Ukraine

By Reuters/Diane Hodges    April 30, 2016 | 06:39 pm PT
Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian rebels exchange heavy gunfire near the eastern city of Donetsk, despite an Easter holiday ceasefire agreement.

Heavy gunfire is exchanged in Ukraine, not far from the eastern city of Donetsk.

A violation of the shaky ceasefire between government forces and pro-Russian rebels.

Fighting between the separatists and government troops has increased sharply in recent weeks, according to European observers.

That comes despite a new ceasefire agreement that was announced only one day earlier by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

The plan was set to take effect Saturday night for the Christian Orthodox holiday of Easter and the May Day holiday.

Twenty Ukrainian soldiers were reported killed in March -- the army's highest monthly death toll since August.

In all, more than 9,000 people have been killed since fighting between Ukrainian troops and separatist rebels backed by Russia began in the wake of the Ukrainian revolution of February 2014.

Last week, the U.S. and Germany warned Russia that sanctions imposed over its military intervention in Ukraine won't be lifted unless the situation on the ground improves.
go to top