Saturday 25 November 2017

Ceasefire period begins in Ukraine

Russian-backed separatists wait for transport from the village of Vergulivka, just outside Debaltseve (AP)
Russian-backed separatists wait for transport from the village of Vergulivka, just outside Debaltseve (AP)
A Ukrainian armored vehicle drives on the road between the towns of Dabeltseve and Artemivsk. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

The ceasefire period for fighting in Ukraine has begun, but there are no immediate signs of whether either side in the conflict is observing it.

Under an agreement struck last week, both Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed separatist rebels were to hold their fire as of one minute after midnight on Sunday. If that holds, both sides are to begin pulling back their heavy weaponry to form a wide buffer zone.

Intense fighting persisted around the strategic government-held railway hub of Debaltseve on Saturday, which has been besieged by separatist forces.

Rebels have said they will not consider any battles for the town to be a violation of the ceasefire.

The conflict has killed more than 5,300 people so far.

Press Association

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