For the first time since the second ceasefire came into effect 10 days ago the Ukrainian army has announced it has suffered no fatalities in the last 24 hours.
Whether this is a landmark moment or simply the calm before a fresh storm remains to be seen, but euronews went as close as it dared to the Ukrainian frontline near Donetsk on Wednesday, and as gunfire could be heard in the distance found the soldiers and few civilians still there pessimistic about the prospects for peace.
“We are about a hundred metres from Pisky, on the front line, at the contact point between both sides. Sporadic shelling is taking place. Here nobody seems to believe in the cease fire”, says euronews’ Sergio Cantone.
The wrecked remains of Donetsk airport are just 4 kilometres away, and Pisky controls the last corridor leading to it.
“What ceasefire are you talking about?” laughs a female soldier called Olena. “During this truce we had soldiers killed and wounded. We are frequently hit with Grad missiles and shelled with heavy weapons. The battles have been going on; there may be a truce for Kyiv but not for us.”
“There is full-scale shelling of Pisky going on, there is no truce. All these countries, Russia or whoever, the Donetsk People’s republic, or Luhansk that are fighting against Ukraine…the war is going on,” growled another soldier.