Europe

Tuesday 29 July 2014

Ukrainian government forces announce ceasefire

Published 20/06/2014|08:45

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Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko

Ukrainian government forces have announced a ceasefire in its fight with Russian separatists.

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The ceasefire is effective from today until June 27, the Interior Ministry has said.

Fighting had been raging for a second successive day in the east of Ukraine.

The day before, clashes occurred in which Ukrainian government forces said about 300 separatists were killed.

Yesterday a pro-Russian separtist commander said the rebels had sustained "heavy losses" when they were outgunned by government forces backed by heavy armour.

The government forces said seven of their own number had been killed in yesterday's fighting.

The fighting which occurred today was about 100 km (60 miles) from the border with Russia.

Fighting broke out just east of the town of Krasny Liman early yesterday after pro-Russian separatists refused to lay down their weapons in line with a peace plan proposed by President Petro Poroshenko, the government forces said.

The government forces have been gradually squeezing rebels in the area though separatists, who rose up against central rule from Kiev following the overthrow of a president sympathetic to Moscow, still control the strategic city of Slaviansk.

Vladyslav Seleznyov, a spokesman for Kiev's "anti-terrorist operation", said about 300 separatists had been killed in action around the villages of Yampil and Zakitne which included artillery fire and air attacks.

Heavy weapons had been seized from the separatists, including an armoured personnel carrier, a truck with a high-calibre machine gun mounted on it, a shoulder-launched missile, grenade launchers and small arms, Seleznyov said on his Facebook page.

"Losses to Ukrainian servicemen are seven dead and 30 wounded. Military action is continuing," Seleznyov said.

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