The Ukrainian military said the first 12 hours of Saturday saw Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine commit 37 violations of the ceasefire along the so-called Line of Contact, including 35 incidents in which they utilized weapons prohibited by the Minsk Agreements.
The Joint Forces Operation said the violations included the use of 120mm mortars and 122mm artillery systems. At least one-third of the alleged violations were reported in one hour after 11:00 a.m. local time.
It also said that one Ukrainian serviceman was killed by a shrapnel wound to the head after several rounds of artillery fire were directed at Ukrainian positions near Myronivske early Saturday.
Some context: The war in eastern Ukraine started in 2014 and has claimed the lives of more than 14,000 people. Intense fighting in 2014 and 2015 left portions of eastern Luhansk and Donetsk in the hands of Russian-backed separatists.
Those separatist-controlled areas in Ukraine's Donbas region, became known as the Luhansk People's Republic (LPR) and the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR). The Ukrainian government in Kyiv asserts the two regions are in effect Russian-occupied. The self-declared republics are not recognized by any government, including Russia. The Ukrainian government refuses to talk directly with either separatist republic.
The Minsk II agreement of 2015 led to a shaky ceasefire agreement, and the conflict settled into static warfare along the Line of Contact that separates areas controlled by the Ukrainian government and separatists. The Minsk Agreements (named after the capital of Belarus where they were concluded) ban heavy weapons near the Line of Contact.