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Ukrainian Military, Separatists Trade Accusations Of Truce Violation

The Ukrainian military and Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine accused each other on January 1 of violating a shaky holiday truce between the warring sides.

Over the past 24 hours, Ukrainian army positions in Donbas came under attacks 22 times, including assaults by mortars and grenade launchers, the Ukrainian military said.

The army said there were no casualties among the Ukrainian forces.

The separatists said one "serviceman" was killed in the early hours on January 1 as Ukrainian forces shelled the Donetsk airport and the Kominterenovo village.

The separatists claimed Ukrainian forces had breached the cease-fire 11 times over the past 24 hours, including with shelling of residential areas that damaged five private houses.

Kyiv and the separatists reached an agreement for a truce during the Christmas and New Year holidays that went into effect at midnight on December 22.

Most Orthodox Christians in Ukraine and Russia celebrate Christmas on January 7.

However, the warring sides accused each other of breaching the truce within hours after it came into effect.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier has warned that the holiday cease-fire is becoming "increasingly fragile," and urged both sides to stick with their pledges to stop the war, at least temporarily.

Based on reporting by Interfax, TASS, and

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