Ukraine's President Ends Ceasfire, Vows Attack on Rebels
Ukraine's President Poroshenko announced the end of the ceasefire with pro-Russian separatists fighting in the eastern part of the country.
“We will attack and liberate our land. Termination of ceasefire is our response to terrorists, insurgents, marauders, everyone who tortures civilians, paralyzes the economy of the region, disrupts payments of salaries, pensions, scholarships, blasts the railroad, destroys the water pipes and deprives people of normal peaceful life,” the President said in his address to the people published on his website.
"A unique chance to implement the peace plan has not been used because of violent actions of insurgents. They publicly declared their unwillingness to support the peace plan in general and cease fire in particular. They defiantly violated the ceasefire regime more than 100 times," Poroshenko said.
The announcement came after a four-way phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin and German and French leaders aimed at helping end the crisis in Ukraine's Russian-speaking east where government forces have been battling rebels since April.
Ukrainian forces began military operations in the east of the country Tuesday, marking a definite end to the ceasefire, the CNN reports. The speaker of Ukraine's Parliament, Oleksandr Turchynov, said that the government's "anti-terror operation" against pro-Russia separatists had been "renewed." and that Ukrainian armed forces have been conducting "attacks on terrorists' bases and defended posts,".
Poroshenko said he was willing to return to a ceasefire "at any moment" if it became clear that all sides were ready to carry out all aspects of the peace plan, including the freeing of hostages and creating effective border controls, Euractiv informs.
There was no immediate response from the Kremlin, however the speaker of Russia's lower house of parliament called for a new ceasefire, Interfax news agency reported.
"We think that without a truce, without the start of dialogue, it is simply impossible to restore peace, justice and law and order in Ukraine," Sergei Naryshkin, an ally of Putin, was quoted as saying.
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