Violations Claimed, But East Ukraine Ceasefire Holding

Both Sides Testing Limits of Ceasefire Agreement

It’s now been well over a day since the Ukrainian government and eastern Ukrainian rebels agreed to a Russian-brokered ceasefire, and while both sides are claiming violations by the other, the ceasefire seems to be holding.

The rebels noted some rocket fire against positions on the outskirts of the rebel capital of Donetsk, which the government chalked up to a “provocation.” The government claimed some rebel artillery fire later in the day near Mariupol.

Neither incident seems to have done serious harm, though both sides seem to be trying to test the limits of the ceasefire agreement, while simultaneously portraying the other side as the primary violator.

The truce, assuming it continues to hold, should give way to more discussions on the final settlement terms, which are expected to include increased autonomy for the east and a retraction of the government’s ban on the use of Russian language in official business. Russian is the primary language in the east, and the move to ban it was what kicked off major unrest in the region, after the formerly eastern-dominated government was overthrown earlier this year by western protesters.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.