Overnight clashes between Ukrainian troops and separatist rebels were reported on the outskirts of the eastern city of Kramatorsk, with Ukraine reporting four soldiers killed and five wounded.
The fighting came in the waning hours of a ceasefire scheduled to expire today, but both sides have since agreed to a 72 hour extension to allow for more peace talks, pushing it through Monday.
The prospect of more peace talks is welcomed, but with only a long weekend it is hard to see how much can really get done, as the two sides appear far apart in their dispute over autonomy for the nation’s east.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko continues to spend most of his free time blaming Russia for the situation, accusing them of being solidly behind the rebels and “doing nothing” to end the fighting. Russia has backed the peace talks, but has stopped short of Western demands to unilaterally, forcibly disarm the ethnic Russian protesters in Ukraine to allow the military to simply run over them.
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