Poroshenko says Russia has withdrawn the majority of its forces from eastern Ukraine. At a government meeting:
According to the latest information that I have received from our intelligence, 70 percent of Russian troops have been moved back across the border. This further strengthens our hope that the peace initiatives have good prospects.
Ukraine, Russia and the Kremlin-backed separatists sign a ceasefire deal. Gunfire and shelling appear to fall silent across the east of the country as the agreement takes effect. Poroshenko says he ordered his forces to halt hostilities at 6 p.m. local time (11 a.m. EDT) after the deal was signed in Minsk, Belarus capital, by the three sides and a representative of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. Separatist leaders also say they ordered their forces to hold fire. Poroshenko says the cease-fire is based on an agreement reached during a ‘long conversation’ with Putin and will be overseen by international monitors from the OSCE. The European Union is preparing additional sanctions in case it fails. The negotiators also agree on withdrawal of all heavy weaponry, the release of all prisoners and the delivery of humanitarian aid to devastated cities in eastern Ukraine.
After talks in Belarus, Ukraine’s government and rebel separatists sign a ceasefire agreement. The ceasefire agreement goes into effect at 6 p.m. local time (11 a.m. ET), per order of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. A CNN team in southeastern Ukraine reports that as of 20 minutes into the ceasefire period there had been no renewal of artillery fire.
In a phone call, Obama tells President Petro Poroshenko that any Russian intervention in Ukraine without consent from Kiev would be “unacceptable” and a violation of international law. Poroshenko tells Obama that shelling of Ukrainian territory from Russia in ongoing. Obama urges Poroshenko to exercise restraint in military operations in order to avoid civilian casualties.
For the second day in a row, international observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) are denied total access to the crash site by armed separatists. The team of monitors is only allowed to see one part of the large area containing wreckage and human remains. Alexander Hug, the chief of the OSCE special monitoring mission to Ukraine, says today the team is allowed “to see a bit more” of the sprawling crash site. President Petro Poroshenko says in a statement that he will “not tolerate interference” with the work of international investigators.
President Poroshenko announces the cease-fire has ended in a television address. The agreement expires at midnight, and military operation in the east part of the country commence today.
Termination of ceasefire is our response to terrorists, insurgents, marauders … and (those who) deprive people of normal peaceful life.
Poroshenko says peace is possible if Russian President Vladimir Putin is in the right mood. In an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour he says:
Sometimes, the position of Mr. Putin is quite pragmatic, sometimes it is very emotional. I just try to find out the time when he is more pragmatic than emotional.
Putin, Poroshenko and Obama talk cease-fire at the 70th anniversary commemoration of D-Day. This is the first meeting between Obama and Putin since Russia annexed Crimea in March 2014, and they agree to further peace talks between Poroshenko and a Putin emissary. The agreement is not without demands from the Russian leader; Putin tells reporters at Normandy:
The Ukrainian leadership must show its goodwill and wisdom. They have to immediately stop the operation and announce a cease-fire. There is no other way to create the conditions for negotiations.