Two days of fighting in the area surrounding the east Ukrainian town of Krasny Liman have left seven Ukrainian soldiers and 300 “rebels” dead, according to Vladislav Seleznev, the spokesman for Ukraine’s “anti-terrorism” force in the east.
Last night, the rebels reported “heavy losses” from Ukrainian tanks attacking the villages, but gave no indication of a death toll. If confirmed this would be a higher toll than the whole rest of the eastern Ukrainian war of secession combined.
The attacks came after Wednesday’s announcement of a “ceasefire” by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, which came with an offer of amnesty for rebels that surrendered. The military gave the rebels three hours, and when they refused to surrender they attacked the region outright, leading to complaints, particularly from Russia, that the ceasefire was nothing of the sort.
Poroshenko has followed that with another announcement of a “seven-day” ceasefire today, though he once again threatened to kill all rebels who refuse to disarm during that time, suggesting that little will come of the offer except more fighting.
The secessionist rebels say they don’t trust the Poroshenko government to keep their promise of amnesty, and they are holding out on disarming until there are some significant reforms giving their region more autonomy.