On the night of April 24, 29 attacks and two engagements were reported by the Ukrainian Military to have taken place between Russian and pro-Russian forces and Ukrainian forces in the Donbass.

Russian and pro-Russian forces clashed with Ukrainian forces in two locations – Marinka and Avdeyevka, both near separatist-held Donetsk.

Of the 29 reported overnight attacks, 11 were conducted with 120 mm mortars on positions near Granitnoye, Peski, Popasnaya, Kirov and Avdeyevka.

The use of mortars with anything beyond 100 mm caliber is a violation of the Minsk agreement, as such weapons should have been withdrawn from the front line.

Other attacks took place near Shirokino, Opytnoye, Mayorsk and Lozovoye, in addition to two attacks in Lugansk.

The 29 overnight attacks brings the total attacks for the 24 hour period to around 50.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko stated Friday that if another offensive was launched by Russian and Pro-Russian forces in Ukraine, the president would move immediately toward a state of martial law and a wartime stance.

“The armed forces of Ukraine, and I as the supreme commander of those forces, have given clear guarantees that we will abide scrupulously by the Minsk agreements. We will not take the offensive,” announced Poroshenko.

The Ukrainian president said that if Ukrainian troops were attacked all measures would be taken to protect them. He mentioned the need for a UN or EU peacekeeping mission in the east of the country.

“Two options exist: either we invite peacekeepers who, acting in accordance with the UN Security Council’s decisions, serve as a line of control on the Ukraine-Russia border – for what? To avoid conflict, to prevent provocations… or a mission by the European Union, which today is also ready to take on this responsibility.”

Poroshenko did not elaborate on the issue to say what would constitute a new offensive.

By James Haleavy