DONETSK, December 24. /TASS/. A militiaman of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) has been killed and another one wounded in Ukrainian military’s shelling in the past 24 hours, DPR defense spokesman Eduard Basurin said on Saturday.
"One DPR serviceman was killed and another one was wounded in the mortar fire opened by Ukrainian bandits," the Donetsk news agency said, citing Basurin.
Over the past 24 hours, Ukraine’s Armed Forces have shelled the DPR territory over 3,000 times, he said. In spite of the "regime of silence" introduced in Donbass at midnight on December 24, Ukrainian troops opened fire 176 times since that time. Villages surrounding the town of Gorlovka, the town of Yasinovataya, villages near the city of Donetsk and a number of villages in the south came under shelling.
On December 21, the Contact Group seeking to find a solution to the Donbass crisis agreed that the ceasefire in Donbass would come into effect at midnight on December 24, ahead of Christmas and New Year holiday celebrations. The current attempt to reach an "indefinite" ceasefire in Donbass has become the tenth since the conflict erupted in southeastern Ukraine.
The Package of Measures to fulfil the September 2014 Minsk agreements, known as Minsk-2, that was signed in Minsk on February 12, 2015, envisaged a ceasefire regime between Ukrainian government forces and people’s militias in the self-proclaimed republics in Donetsk and Lugansk (DPR and LPR) starting from February 15, 2015 and a subsequent withdrawal of heavy weapons from the line of engagement. The deal also laid out a roadmap for a lasting settlement in Ukraine, including local elections and constitutional reform to give more autonomy to the war-torn eastern regions.