: Russian-backed separatist forces use cannon artillery for first time in long period

15:16 Mar. 27, 2016

Russian-backed separatist forces use cannon artillery for first time in long period

Armed pro-Russian separatists walk on a street in the Zaytseve village of Donetsk area, Ukraine on March 14, 2016. (Getty Images)

Situation in eastern Ukraine remains tense

The situation in the combat zone in eastern Ukraine remains tense showing a tendency to aggravation, the military press centre reported.

The combined Russian-separatist forces attacked Ukrainian army positions in eastern Ukraine 44 times in the past 24 hours, according to a report.

"In addition to mortars of calibers banned by the Minsk agreements, militants have again used cannon artillery, for the first time in a long period. The Ukrainian Armed Forces in the area of Zaitseve and Mayorsk were able to keep the defense after they had been attacked four times with 122-millimeter mortars," the military press centre's statement reads.

Read also Two Ukrainian soldiers killed, 11 wounded over the last 24 hours

Avdiyivka is said to remain one of the most hostile areas in the Donetsk direction. The enemy has applied a whole arsenal of weapons but could not dislodge the Ukrainian forces from their positions.

It is reported that militants have also fired near the villages of Luhanske, Novgorod, Mayorsk, Zaitseve, Leninske, Pisky, Opytne, Shyrokyne, Troitske and Maryinka.

Read also Militants continue to use banned weapons, hot spot near Avdiyivka

"In the Luhansk direction, militants attempted to storm one of the Ukrainian army strongpoints using small arms. The Ukrainian forces have maintained their positions forcing the enemy to retreat," according to the statement.

Reporting by UNIAN.

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