Ukraine Day 804: LIVE UPDATES BELOW.
Yesterday’s live coverage of the Ukraine conflict can be found here.
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With the fighting in Ukraine escalating for months, the Easter holiday was supposed to bring a new truce. That truce never took place. According to RFE/RL, both the Ukrainian government and the mouthpiece for the self-declared Donetsk Peoples’ Republic blames the other for overnight shelling before the deadline — shelling which continued into the day.
Ukraine reported that one of their soldiers was killed and another seven wounded on Sunday, and the Ukrainian government levied fresh allegations against the Russian government which they say has send new rounds of weapons and troops across the border. USA Today reports:
On Sunday, however, the Defense Intelligence unit of Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense, reported that soldiers of Russia’s 10th Special Forces brigade arrived in the southern part of the Donetsk region, which is held by Russian-backed forces. Russia also sent 24 repaired tanks to the Luhansk region, plus 320 tons of ammunition and 1,000 tons of diesel fuel to other militant-held Ukrainian towns, according to a Ukrainian Defense Intelligence unit statement.
The troop presence in Donetsk coincides with a visit to the region by Vladislav Surkov, assistant to Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to the Ukrainian Pravda newspaper. Surkov called on rebel forces to push Ukrainian military units from positions near Avdiivka and to do a better job of distributing Russian military and financial aid, Pravda reported, citing the Ukrainian military’s Defense Intelligence unit.
Tensions, violence rise in Ukraine as Western powers urge reforms
One Ukrainian soldier was killed and seven others were wounded in combat with Russian-backed militants in eastern Ukraine, officials said Sunday, as escalating violence threatens a cease-fire that took hold in September.
If there is a sliver of good news it is that there was no violence today in Odessa where Ukrainian national guard troops have been deployed to stop any violence related to Easter, the May 1st holiday, or the anniversary of the trade union fire which lift 48 dead on May 2, 2014.
See our coverage yesterday for details on preparations for the May 2 anniversary:
2 Ukrainian Soldiers Killed, 4 Wounded; Kuchma Says Russian-Backed Militants Violate Ceasefire
Two Ukrainian soldiers were killed and 4 wounded in combat today, Andriy Lysenko, presidential spokesman for ATO issues said at a briefing.
Saakashvili: Tactics used by Russia in Crimea may be used in Odesa on May 2
Odesa Governor Mikheil Saakashvili says that the tactics used by Russia during the annexation of Crimea in March 2014 – "special operations forces and military troops hiding behind old people, women and children standing in front" – may be used in Odesa on May 2, the second anniversary of the Odesa fire incident, according to an UNIAN correspondent.