Russian forces are heavily shelling eastern Ukraine (Donbass region), the Ukrainian military announced Monday, as the front lines continue to heat up despite the Minsk II ceasefire agreement signed four months ago.
Over the past 24 hours, two Ukrainian soldiers have been killed and at least twenty wounded in the onslaught, it said. Several news sites have placed the death toll higher – up to 7 – with at least 30 wounded.
"The situation in the conflict zone is deteriorating. At key parts of the frontline heavy weapons continue to shell our positions almost incessantly," Ukrainian military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said in a televised briefing, according to Reuters.
“Our enemies have thrown tanks, infantry combat vehicles and artillery into battle," he added.
Ukraine has seen a renewed round of fighting after hostilities broke out at the Maryinka airport earlier this month. Russian forces reportedly broke the tenuous ceasefire by moving tanks and artillery beyond the safe distance "no man's land" dictated by Minsk II – a move which Ukrainian officials hailed as a precursor to a "full-scale invasion."
The reports engendered a round of accusations between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko; NATO and the UN are scrambling to find a way to keep calm.