Donetsk, Jan 2 – DAN. Ukrainian forces violated the ceasefire more than 540 times over the past 24 hours, DPR Operations Command deputy commander Eduard Basurin told a news briefing at Donetsk News Agency on Monday.

"Ukrainian army violated the ceasefire 542 times over the past 24 hours,” Basurin said.

Ukrainian forces fired 210 82mm and 120mm mines and 210 grenade launcher rounds, 23 tank gun rounds. They also used infantry fighting vehicle cannons and small arms.

According to the DPR Command, the enemy targeted Gorlovka and its outskirts – Zaitsevo, Golmovskiy and Nizhnetroitskoye, Yasinovataya and neighboring Krutaya Balka, Spartak; Alexandrovka and Trudovskiye of Donetsk; Kominternovo, Sakhanka and Leninskoye villages in DPR south.

"The number of provocations on the south axis grows as the OSCE chairman Sebastian Kurz is expected to visit Mariupol on Jan. 3-4," Basurin added.

He said that was the way Ukraine showed adherence to the politics of aggression in Donbass, supported by the US senator John McCain who had visited Mariupol earlier.

DPR intelligence latest reports reveal Ukrainian heavy weapons presence on south axis.

Three 152mm self-propelled howitzers Akatsia were spotted in Granitnoye area (Volnovakha district, 4km from the contact line); five towed howitzers D-30 were located in Stariy Krym village (Mariupol area, 25km from the contact line).

Two sniper companies up to 200 troops were deployed to Zhovanka north of Gorlovka to reinforce Ukrainian presence on Svetlodarsk salient.*ot