A fighter of the Azov Battalion holds his position in the town of Shyrokyne, eastern Ukraine, Sunday, March 22, 2015. (AP Photo/Mstyslav Chernov)
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To reach rear-guard government positions in the seaside town of Shyrokyne, Ukrainian soldiers gingerly wind their off-roaders through private gardens hugging a precipice along the Azov Sea.Government and Russian-backed separatist forces face off in daily gun and artillery battles across an unseen line cutting through the town.It is the industrial port city of Mariupol, 10 kilometers (6 miles) further west, that Ukrainian forces want to defend from the rebels at all costs.Government forces in Shyrokyne are only truly at ease behind three defensive lines separating them from the heat of fighting in the center. At a makeshift garrison installed there, on the grounds of a restaurant near the shore, two tanks stood parked Sunday under a striped awning.Under the truce, fighting was supposed to stop and heavy weapons were to be pulled back from the front line.Ukrainian forces hold the elevated sections of Shyrokyne, giving them a tactical advantage.By the day's end, the final Ukrainian tally was at least one enemy tank destroyed and two relatively light injuries among their ranks.
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