Ukrainian reconnaissance spots enemy sniper unit in the area
Ukrainian troops are returning fire against Russian-backed separatist forces near the eastern town of Maryinka. A spike in fighting in eastern Ukraine has been recorded by Europe's watchdog on the ground - the OSCE.
Ivan Hrebenyuk, UT Correspondent: "At this moment our boys are firing back because from the very morning Ukrainian positions were being shelled. After this I think there will be silence."
A Ukrainian reconnaissance team working near Maryinka reported seeing a unit of enemy snipers in the area.
‘Bulivar', 14th Detached Mechanized Brigade soldier: "Yesterday our boys noticed them from a high point. Four men were heading to the plant there. We knew they would be firing. And they have been since yesterday and now as well."
A few days ago, sporadic fighting erupted in the same area, leading to the death of a militant leader. Now Ukrainian soldiers believe Russian-backed separatist forces are trying to get revenge.
‘Sanitar', 14th Detached Mechanized Brigade soldier: "It depends what each one of us will leave with. We don't know if they're regular troops or Kadyrov's men."
Over the course of the nearly two-year war in eastern Ukraine Western officials and media have reported of regular Russian soldiers fighting alongside militant forces in the region. Ukraine says a large number of Russian troops are now concentrated at the hottest point of fighting on the frontline - near the villages of Avdiivka and Pisky.
Vladyslav Yakushev, 14th Detached Mechanized Brigade press officer: "Their unit cannot take our positions. I think if they went on the offensive it would be a gift for us. Because it's unlikely they would return from that attack."
More than 9,100 people have been killed and 21,000 wounded since the conflict broke out in 2014.