Donetsk, Dec 29 – DAN. Christmas ceasefire has come into force in Donbass on the eve of the New Year and Christmas holidays.

Earlier the Contact Group endorsed the Christmas ceasefire in Donbass in effect from December 29, 2018 1:01 a.m. GMT+3.

"Currently the ceasefire is observed along the contact line," the DPR People's Militia HQ told DAN.

The DPR mission to the JCCC is monitoring the situation closely,

Ceasefires have been announced almost two dozen times in Donbass since 2014/ In addition, local silence regime is regularly announced for certain areas to facilitate repair works at strategic infrastructure objects. Despite the efforts, all ceasefires failed to turn into a durable and comprehensive peace.

In the past week, Ukraine violated the ceasefire 136 times, firing 70 shells at  23 Donbass townships.

Infrastructure and residential areas are a common target of Ukrainian troops.

Kiev troops sporadically attempt to advance in the direction of DPR positions. Shortly before the ceasefire came into force, on December 28 two Ukrainian sabotage and reconnaissance groups of Ukrainian armed formations tried to approach Republican forces on the Mariupol direction ending up amidst their own minefield. Ukrainian groups turned back and suffered losses during their hasty retreat.

December 2018 saw tensions rising as Ukraine announced martial law trying to postpone presidential election. DPR Head Denis Pushilin said in his live TV Q&A on Thursday that DPR's large-scale intelligence and mass media campaign against plotted offensive in Donbass foiled plans of the Ukrainian military.

DPR Foreign Ministry voiced a hope for peaceful holidays in Donbass in light of the recent recommitment to ceasefire. *ot