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.
One thought on “Clashes Reported, But Ukraine Ceasefire Extended to Monday”
Clearly, the diehards will try to torpedo the ceasefire and provoke a Russian invasion. Any sort of settlement will leave them high and dry. The positive side of all this is that it proves that the rebels are not a united movement but a series of disjointed groups which can be picked off one by one. Little by little, group by group, they will either lay down their arms or flee into Russia. If Putin has sealed off the border, then their only source of arms and ammunition is what they can steal from the Ukrainian forces. Knowing that, the Ukrainian military no doubt keeps a heavy guard on its supplies.
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