Fresh ceasefire appears to hold for now in eastern Ukraine

The close proximity of opposing sides and continued use of heavy weapons prompted leaders of Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine to call for renewed efforts to implement peace agreement

By Pavel Polityuk

AVDIYIVKA, Ukraine, Feb 20 (Reuters) - Ukrainian troops and Russian-backed separatists appeared to be respecting a new ceasefire attempt on Monday after international powers called for shelling to stop and for the withdrawal of banned heavy weapons.

In recent weeks, the area around the government-held town of Avdiyivka has seen some of the heaviest artillery fire of the past two years, refocusing global attention on a simmering conflict that has strained relations between Russia and the West.

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