Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak has reported that the ceasefire
has been observed in the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) zone in Donbas, eastern Ukraine, since 00:00 Kyiv time on September 1.
"I was pleasantly surprised this morning that since midnight there has been no single instance of shelling as of 09:00. I hope this will continue," Poltorak told journalists in Kyiv on Thursday.
However, the minister said, prior to that, the situation on the front was very tense
and acts of provocation had been reported
in recent days.
"Just the day before yesterday we observed a group of terrorists located near the [demolished Donetsk] airport shelling residential districts in Donetsk and they accused us of having done this," he said.
Poltorak also said that the drills being conducted by Russia near the borders with Ukraine are dangerous and even "provocative."
"The Armed Forces of Ukraine meet the challenge, getting ready, monitoring; and nowadays, the Ukrainian army is different from the one in 2014. We've become completely different, and we are aware of the threats we face
," he added.