• Wednesday, March 04, 2015

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Ukraine 'starts heavy weapons withdrawal'

Ukraine 'starts heavy weapons withdrawal'

Ukraine's army is starting the withdrawal of heavy weapons from the front line in the east as part of a truce, the defence ministry says. It says the pullout of 100mm calibre artillery "is the first step" and will be monitored by OSCE observers. Pro-Russian rebels earlier said they had started withdrawing their weapons. This...

Ukraine 'cannot start withdrawal'

Ukraine 'cannot start withdrawal'

The Ukrainian military has said it cannot start withdrawing heavy weapons from the front line in the east until the rebels stop shelling its positions. Military spokesman Anatoliy Stelmakh told reporters the rebels had not stopped firing. Both sides agreed at the weekend to begin withdrawing heavy weapons shortly, under this month's ceasefire. The rebels are...

Ukraine calls for UN peacekeepers

Ukraine calls for UN peacekeepers

President Petro Poroshenko has called for UN peacekeepers to be deployed to eastern Ukraine to enforce a ceasefire. At an emergency security meeting, he said such a force would help guarantee security "in a situation where the promise of peace is not being kept". His comments came after Ukrainian troops withdrew from the strategic city...

Ukrainian president orders ceasefire

Ukrainian president orders ceasefire

Ukraine's president has said a truce agreed with pro-Russian rebels in the east must be honoured, as he ordered the army to stop fighting. Petro Poroshenko also warned the rebels against continuing attacks on the besieged strategic town of Debaltseve. Fighting appeared to have died down immediately after the ceasefire took effect at 22:00 GMT. But...

3 killed as deadly shell hits Donetsk hospital

3 killed as deadly shell hits Donetsk hospital

At least three people were killed and many more wounded when a shell hit a hospital in the rebel-held city of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine today. Nearby schools were also damaged in the blast, city officials said. Violence has surged in the east in recent weeks, and the pro-Russian rebels have captured territory from government...

Hospital, university hit as Ukraine clashes flare

Hospital, university hit as Ukraine clashes flare

Deadly clashes between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian rebels threatened civilians in central Donetsk on Monday, with shelling hitting a hospital and warnings of insurgents launching attacks from residential areas. Ukraine also made fresh accusations of Moscow backing the separatists, alleging that hundreds of Russian troops along with heavy weaponry crossed the border to join...

Artillery explosions shake Donetsk airport in east Ukraine

Artillery explosions shake Donetsk airport in east Ukraine

Loud explosions and artillery fire rocked Donetsk airport in eastern Ukraine on Monday, despite attempts to negotiate an end to a battle that is undermining a ceasefire in regions held by separatists. A Reuters reporter near the strategically important airport saw flashes of artillery fire in several places and heard frequent blasts in new...

Heavy shelling in Ukraine city

Heavy shelling in Ukraine city

There has been intense artillery bombardment overnight in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk. The BBC's Daryna Mayer in the city said the shelling was the worst in more than a month, lasting almost eight hours. She said it appeared to be coming from both rebel and government positions. The fighting comes a day after monitors...

Ukraine Crisis

Fighting threatens truce

Fighting around two flashpoint cities in eastern Ukraine yesterday rattled a tenuous truce between government troops and pro-Russian rebels less than 48 hours after it came into force. Insurgent militias bombarded a government-held checkpoint on the eastern edge of the port city of Mariupol overnight, local officials said, killing one woman and triggering panic among residents. Artillery fire was also heard near the main rebel stronghold of Donetsk, AFP correspondents said, with the Ukrainian government accusing separatist gunmen of trying to...

EU mulls fresh response to Russia

EU mulls fresh response to Russia

EU leaders are to meet in Brussels to consider fresh sanctions against Russia following accusations that its troops are fighting inside Ukraine. Russia denies that its regular forces are backing a rebel offensive in eastern Ukraine. But ahead of the summit, EU officials said a clear message must be sent to Russia to de-escalate the...

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