At midnight on July 27th, a ceasefire began between Ukraine’s government forces and the forces of the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR) in Eastern Ukraine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelenskiy discussed the conflict in eastern Ukraine and both expressed support for a ceasefire, their offices said.
“The leaders agreed on the need for an urgent implementation of extra measures to support the ceasefire regime in Donbass,” Zelenskiy’s office announced, referring to eastern Ukraine.
Zelensky also called for stronger efforts to secure the release of Ukrainian citizens in the Donbass, Crimea and Russia, according to the Ukrainian statement.
Putin expressed concerns over a recent bill in the Ukrainian parliament paving the way for regional elections in 2022, saying it runs “counter to the Minsk agreements” and puts “settlement prospects in jeopardy,” the Kremlin said.
The ceasefire was agreed between the Kiev government and the DPR/LPR on July 22nd. This is an agreement for a “complete and all-encompassing ceasefire” – the latest in approximately 30 failed attempts.
And not that anybody’s keeping count, but all of them have failed due to actions by the Kiev side.
The stoppage of fire, judging by the document signed in Minsk, will be surrounded by unprecedented measures – withdraw orders for the army, bans even on reconnaissance, on sniper fire, on the use of drones, and special controllers will be sent to units on the front line to exclude accidental incidents.
For a long time, Ukraine did not agree on the signing of additional measures and agreed after external pressures – Russia threatened to withdraw from the Normandy Four format, and France and Germany urged Kiev to agree.
Almost immediately after the ceasefire was established, protests began in Kiev against it.
Protesters in Kiev expressed anger with what demonstrator Svyatoslav Boyko called the “clumsy leadership” of President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.
Fellow protester Anton Sosnovskiy accused Zelenskiy of “capitulating” to Russia after the “cynical killings” of Ukrainian soldiers.
The cynical killings are mostly Ukrainian soldiers stepping on landmines that they planted themselves.
“We will not disarm our army and turn our soldiers into helpless targets. Our army protects us every day. Therefore, our duty is to support our army,” the organizers said.
Immediately after the ceasefire was established, Kiev accused the DPR of breaching the ceasefire.
The Kiev side said no casualties were reported despite attacks with small arms, grenade launchers, and heavy machine guns.
This happened south of the city of Donetsk, and around Novomykhaylivka, southwest of Donetsk, according to Ukraine’s military.
Separatists in Donetsk rejected Kiev’s accusation, saying they were strictly following their commitments in the truce.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov described the truce as “a significant step toward strengthening mutual trust and defusing tensions” and called on the parties to “fully adhere to their obligations and agreements.”
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