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Defence minister admits failure of ceasefire deal

ATO forces are ready to fight back in case of escalation of the situation.

Militants snub the Donbas ceasefire initiated by Ukraine, Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak says.

"Unfortunately, the ceasefire is not observed by terrorist groups. Unfortunately, yesterday saw 33 shelling attacks by terrorist. Unfortunately, mortars and artillery have been used on more than one occasion," UNIAN quoted Poltorak as saying at a 26 December briefing in Kharkiv.

The minister assured that the ATO forces control the situation and are ready to fight back.

"We are monitoring the situation and ready to react if it worsens," said Poltorak.

The Christmas ceasefire in Donbas was due to begin at midnight on December 24, according to the agreements reached in Minsk. In practice the ceasefire has lasted for only 25 minutes.