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'Regime of Silence' Enforced in East Ukraine War Zone: Kiev

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Situation in the South-East of Ukraine (1121)
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The conflicting sides in crisis-hit eastern Ukraine have agreed to stop completely any military action or artillery shelling starting Tuesday night, Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council said.

Updated 9:35 p.m. Moscow Time

KIEV, October 7 (RIA Novosti) - The conflicting sides in crisis-hit eastern Ukraine have agreed to stop completely any military action or artillery shelling starting Tuesday night, Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council said.

"Today, October 7, according to reached agreements, a so-called 'regime of silence' was introduced at 18:00 local time [15:00 GMT], which enforces the cessation of all combat activity or shelling [in Donbas region]," the Council announced in a statement.

The National Security and Defense Council, which is an advisory state body to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, also claimed in its statement that previous such attempts to bring a lull in fighting in eastern Ukraine had failed to hold.

The Council's spokesman, Andrij Lysenko, claimed earlier in the day that eastern Ukraine had recently seen a spike in artillery bombardments.

This came after Ukraine's chief military prosecutor said 64 Ukrainian troops had died and 346 had been wounded since the declaration of a ceasefire between the warring parties in early September.

The Kiev government and independence forces in southeastern Ukraine agreed on a ceasefire at the September 5 meeting of the Contact Group in Minsk. Since the truce was established, the conflicting sides have repeatedly accused each other of violating the regime, although the OSCE said earlier this month that the truce was generally holding.

In April, Kiev launched a special operation in southeast of Ukraine in an attempt to crack down on independence supporters protesting against the February regime change.

The United Nations estimates that over 3,500 civilians have lost their lives in the government clampdown. The number of casualties on both sides dropped in September following the ceasefire, although both parties have been accusing each other of violating the truce.

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Situation in the South-East of Ukraine (1121)
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