World

Ukraine claims rebels violate cease-fire 12 times during night

  • Russia-backed rebels hold food products while accompanying a bus carrying Ukrainian prisoners of war in Luhansk, Ukraine, Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015. Ukrainian military and separatist representatives exchanged dozens of prisoners under cover of darkness at a remote frontline location Saturday evening, kicking off a process intended to usher in peace to the conflict-ridden east. Ukrainian troops and rebels were exchanged, according to a separatist official overseeing the prisoner swap at a no man's land location near the village of Zholobok, some 20 kilometers (12 miles) west of the rebel-held city Luhansk. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

    Russia-backed rebels hold food products while accompanying a bus carrying Ukrainian prisoners of war in Luhansk, Ukraine, Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015. Ukrainian military and separatist representatives exchanged dozens of prisoners under cover of darkness at a remote frontline location Saturday evening, kicking off a process intended to usher in peace to the conflict-ridden east. Ukrainian troops and rebels were exchanged, according to a separatist official overseeing the prisoner swap at a no man's land location near the village of Zholobok, some 20 kilometers (12 miles) west of the rebel-held city Luhansk. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)  (The Associated Press)

  • Russia-backed rebels guard a bus carrying Ukrainian prisoners of war in Luhansk, Ukraine, Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015. Ukrainian military and separatist representatives exchanged dozens of prisoners under cover of darkness at a remote frontline location Saturday evening, kicking off a process intended to usher in peace to the conflict-ridden east. Ukrainian troops and rebels were exchanged, according to a separatist official overseeing the prisoner swap at a no man's land location near the village of Zholobok, some 20 kilometers (12 miles) west of the rebel-held city Luhansk. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

    Russia-backed rebels guard a bus carrying Ukrainian prisoners of war in Luhansk, Ukraine, Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015. Ukrainian military and separatist representatives exchanged dozens of prisoners under cover of darkness at a remote frontline location Saturday evening, kicking off a process intended to usher in peace to the conflict-ridden east. Ukrainian troops and rebels were exchanged, according to a separatist official overseeing the prisoner swap at a no man's land location near the village of Zholobok, some 20 kilometers (12 miles) west of the rebel-held city Luhansk. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)  (The Associated Press)

  • The former Soviet Union flag flies on top of a construction in a field, near Zholobok, Ukraine, Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015. Ukrainian military and separatist representatives exchanged dozens of prisoners under cover of darkness at a remote frontline location Saturday evening, kicking off a process intended to usher in peace to the conflict-ridden east. Ukrainian troops and rebels were exchanged, according to a separatist official overseeing the prisoner swap at a no man's land location near the village of Zholobok, some 20 kilometers (12 miles) west of the rebel-held city Luhansk. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

    The former Soviet Union flag flies on top of a construction in a field, near Zholobok, Ukraine, Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015. Ukrainian military and separatist representatives exchanged dozens of prisoners under cover of darkness at a remote frontline location Saturday evening, kicking off a process intended to usher in peace to the conflict-ridden east. Ukrainian troops and rebels were exchanged, according to a separatist official overseeing the prisoner swap at a no man's land location near the village of Zholobok, some 20 kilometers (12 miles) west of the rebel-held city Luhansk. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)  (The Associated Press)

Ukrainian officials say Russia-backed separatists violated a troubled cease-fire a dozen times during the night with artillery and rocket attacks and an attempt to storm a Ukrainian encampment.

Explosions were heard in the main rebel-held city Donetsk around dawn on Sunday and a rebel website says several buildings in the city were damaged by artillery.

Despite the reported violations, the level of firing appeared to be far lower than a week ago when a cease-fire was called.

Among the attacks reported by the Ukrainian military was an attempt to storm positions in the village of Shyrokyne near the port city of Mariupol. That city remains of strategic concern to Ukraine because rebel seizure of it could help establish a land corridor between mainland Russia and the Russia-annexed Crimean peninsula.