Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) says that the number of ceasefire violations in the separatist regions of Ukraine is equal to numbers reported before July 2020, the date of agreement to strengthen the ceasefire.

A car bombing hit the eastern city of Donetsk, but no casualties were reported.
A car bombing hit the eastern city of Donetsk, but no casualties were reported. (AP)

Observers from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) have said they had seen a significant rise in the number of attacks along the front line in eastern Ukraine.

"In recent days, the OSCE Special Monitoring to Ukraine (SMM) has observed a dramatic increase in kinetic activity along the contact line in eastern Ukraine," the OSCE said in a statement on early Saturday.

Violence has ebbed and flowed along the eastern border, where Kiev has been locked in conflict with Moscow-backed rebels for almost eight years.

With Washington insisting Russia has encircled its pro-Western neighbour and plans to invade in the coming days, the situation on the ground has grown more volatile.

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870 violations in Donetsk, Luhansk regions

OSCE added that the number of ceasefire violations was equal to numbers reported before a July 2020 agreement to strengthen the ceasefire.

The OSCE reported there had been 222 ceasefire violations for the Donetsk region on Thursday, including 135 explosions, up from 189 the previous day and 24 on Tuesday.

For the Luhansk region, it reported 648 violations, including 519 explosions, up from 402 the previous day and 129 on Tuesday.

The monitor called on both sides "to strictly adhere to all of the commitments they have made, and take all necessary steps to reduce tensions and work towards immediate de-escalation for the benefit of the lives of innocent civilians," the statement said.

The OSCE, which includes Russia and the United States as member states, deployed its peace-monitoring mission in Ukraine in 2014 following Moscow's annexation of Crimea. The armed conflict between Kiev and pro-Russia separatists in the country's east has claimed more than 14,000 lives.

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Source: AFP