Latest from Donbas: Ukraine's defence minister voices cautious optimism as no militant attacks recorded after midnight (video)
Politics12:30 Sep. 1, 2016

Ukraine's defence minister voices cautious optimism as no militant attacks recorded after midnight (video)

However, one Ukrainian soldier was killed prior to the latest truce agreement

UPDATE: One Ukrainian soldier was killed and another one was wounded in eastern Ukraine before the new truce agreement set in. According to Ukraine's top military spokesman, the serviceman was killed in a skirmish with a militant group near the village of Bohdanivka.

No militant attacks in the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) zone in Donbas were reported by the Ukrainian Armed Forces after midnight on September 1, according to Ukrainian Defence Minister Stepan Poltorak.

"I was pleasantly surprised this morning that since midnight there has been no single case of fire as of 09:00," Poltorak told journalists in Kyiv on Thursday. 

"I hope this tendency will continue," he added.

However, the minister said, prior to that, the situation on the front was very tense. According to the ATO headquarters, combined Russian-separatist forces attacked Ukrainian army positions in eastern Ukraine 25 times: 14 times in the Donetsk sector, 10 times in the Mariupol sector and once in the Luhansk sector.

Read also Ukraine's defence minister Poltorak: Threat of war remains real

Poltorak links recent escalation in Donbas with the Kavkaz-2016 military drills held by Russia near Ukraine's borders.

"This exercise is provocative. Ukraine's Armed Forces react to this, they are getting ready, monitoring the situation. Today the Ukrainian army is different from the one we had back in 2014. We have changed and realise our threats and challenges," said the defence minister.

Read also 100,000 Russian troops stationed in Crimea, Donbas and around Ukraine - Kyiv


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