TIME Ukraine

Ukraine Calls ‘Easter Truce’ in East

A pro-Russia woman holds a Russian flag outside a regional government building in Donetsk
Baz Ratner—Reuters A pro-Russia woman holds a Russian flag outside a regional government building in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, April 19, 2014.

Kiev said it was suspending operations in eastern Ukraine cities over Easter, as separatists continued their occupation of government buildings

Ukraine announced Saturday it would suspend operations against separatists in its volatile eastern cities over Easter, where pro-Russia militants have occupied government buildings in defiance of the interim government in Kiev.

Kiev has said it will resume military operations if the separatists do not withdraw, but would hold its forces back for the meantime. “The anti-terrorist operation was put on hold for the Easter time and we will be not using force against them at this moment,” foreign minister Andriy Deshchytsia said, the BBC reports.

Pro-Kremlin forces currently occupy government offices in 10 cities in eastern Ukraine, the Independent reports, who refuse to leave until the government in Kiev resigns.

The militants remain despite an agreement reached Thursday to defuse the crisis in which Russia, Ukraine, the EU and US said illegal military groups in Ukraine should be disbanded and those occupying government buildings must leave.

Separatists in the city of Donetsk said the Kiev government is “illegal”, and have vowed not to disarm until the government resigns.

The White House has ramped up pressure on Russia to use its influence over Ukrainian separatists and order them to disband, threatening further economic sanctions against Moscow if the crisis is not defused. Thousands of Russian troops have amassed at the border, as hostilities have escalated following the revolution that overturned a pro-Russia government earlier this year.

Kiev launched “anti-terrorist” operations against the militants in the East last week in an effort to dislodge separatist fighters.


Tap to read full story

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com


Dear TIME Reader,

As a regular visitor to TIME.com, we are sure you enjoy all the great journalism created by our editors and reporters. Great journalism has great value, and it costs money to make it. One of the main ways we cover our costs is through advertising.

The use of software that blocks ads limits our ability to provide you with the journalism you enjoy. Consider turning your Ad Blocker off so that we can continue to provide the world class journalism you have become accustomed to.

The TIME Team