The truce is part of a broader peace plan negotiated by the leaders of Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France last week in Minsk. But there has been no let up in the violence surrounding Debaltseve, a strategic railway that has been the focus of fighting for the last few weeks.
Pro-Russian separatists continued to shell Ukrainian government positions around the eastern town of Debaltseve on Monday, despite a ceasefire agreement that came into effect over the weekend.
Pro-Russian separatists are still targeting government positions around the town with mortar fire, threatening the already fragile ceasefire agreement.
“A ceasefire has been signed, and we have orders to respect it,” a soldier told FRANCE 24, as an explosion sounded in the background. “Did you hear that?”
Overall, rebel forces have targeted government positions 112 times in the past 24 hours, military spokesman Anatoly Stelmakh told reporters on Monday, adding that government forces only returned fire after coming under attack.
More than 5,000 people have been killed since the conflict in eastern Ukraine began last April, according to the United Nations.