Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko and a representative from the eastern rebels both signed a ceasefire deal earlier today, with fighting scheduled to stop at 11 AM eastern time.
It didn’t really take that long, as news of the ceasefire saw combat steadily tapering down in the hours leading to the official end of hostilities. Some Ukrainian troops claimed not to have received orders even by 11 AM, but fighting seems to have more or less stopped.
The ceasefire is set to give way to a prisoner exchange between the two sides over the weekend, and future talks on increased autonomy for the eastern region. The deal will also allow Russian to be used as an official language in the east once again. The primary language of many easterners, its banning after the regime change earlier this year was a big part of the revolt.
NATO officials issued statements on the ceasefire, insisting they remain “skeptical” of the pact, which comes only a day after they’d pledged $19 million in aid to Ukraine to continue the war.