Ukraine to extend truce with Russian-backed separatists as new peace talks loom

Ukraine says it will continue upholding a truce with Russian-backed separatists following a day largely free of exchanges of fire between the warring sides.

Military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said Wednesday there have been attacks on government positions over the previous day, but noted a significant reduction in their quantity.

The cessation in hostilities follows a proposal last week by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to hold a "day of silence" as a bid to revive a largely ignored cease-fire deal reached in September.

A new round of peace talks is expected for this week, but no date has yet been set.

Military authorities have indicated that the truce is seen as a confidence-building exercise and that heavy weaponry could be pulled back from the front if fighting stops for several days.