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5 Sep, 2014

Ceasefire begins

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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.

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