Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko spoke with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin overnight, and followed it up with a formal ceasefire proposal.
Poroshenko promised a unilateral cessation of attacks on the nation’s southeastern Donetsk Oblast, and offered amnesty to fighters who agree to lay down their arms and surrender.
The rebels aren’t buying it, at least not at this point, as many believe Poroshenko will renege on the amnesty pledge, in keeping with his past promises to punish those who have “blood on their hands.”
“Maybe there was a way back when this all just started, when the people were out here with the flags to make their point, and before the killing,” noted one separatist leader.
Still, a unilateral halt to violence could coax at least some of the rebels out of hiding, paving a way for the decentralization and reforms that the separatists were seeking in the first place.