Both Sides Claim Violations, But Ukraine Ceasefire Mostly Holds

Reported Exchange of Fire Centers on Debaltseve

At the stroke of midnight, the eastern Ukraine ceasefire went into effect, and after an escalation of fighting in the hours leading up to it, it appears to be mostly holding in the early hours.

Despite the ultranationalists saying they don’t intend to abide by the deal, both the rebels and the military have mostly stopped fighting, with President Poroshenko saying the deal has to be honored.

Of course ceasefires are never perfectly smooth, and both sides have accused the other of violations, each centering around artillery fire in the minutes following midnight.

What firing has been reported seems to be restricted to the contested town of Debaltseve and surrounding villages, with the rebels claiming their fire was retaliation for troops inside the town firing at them after the ceasefire deadline.

The September ceasefire went much the same way, with both sides claiming repeated violations for months on end, but the fighting largely halted from the beginning of September through the truce’s collapse in mid-January. Even if the ceasefire isn’t complete, it should give locals a much needed rest from the civil war.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.