Eastern Ukraine has suffered the worst violence in more than a week as fighting between pro-Russian rebels and government troops in the region killed at least 12 people and wounded 32, officials said Monday.
Col. Andriy Lysenko told journalists in a briefing in Kiev on Monday that at least nine troops had been killed in a day and 27 had been wounded.
Meanwhile, the city council of Donetsk said in a statement published online that at least three civilians were killed and five wounded in overnight shelling of a residential area in the northern part of the city, where fighting has centered on the government-held airport. Throughout the day in Donetsk, regular explosions could be heard coming from the north of the city.
Violence has continued despite a ceasefire declared on Sept. 5. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has been at pains to insist to a skeptical audience at home that his peace plan is working and said last week that he believed “the most dangerous part of the war” is over.
On Sunday, in the second-largest Ukrainian city, Kharkiv, nationalists tore down an enormous statue of Vladimir Lenin to cheers from the crowd. Across Ukraine, people have torn down statues to the former Communist leader in a symbolic display of anti-Russian sentiment.