Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Both sides of Ukrainian conflict agree to cease-fire

DONETSK, Ukraine — Pro-Russian separatists declared a cease-fire Monday in a surprise move that they said they hoped would lead to a settlement of the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

The announcement came as rebel leaders met with representatives of the Ukrainian government in Kiev, including the former President Leonid Kuchma, the Russian ambassador to Ukraine and a representative of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

"In answer to the cease-fire by Kiev, we commit to a cease-fire from our side," said Alexander Borodai, prime minister of the self-declared Donetsk People's Republic.

Borodai, a Russian citizen, said the cease-fire would last until Friday, matching the timeline of the cease-fire announced last week by Petro Poroshenko, Ukraine's new president.

Poroshenko declared a unilateral cease-fire Friday by government troops clashing with rebels in the country's embattled east and unveiled a peace plan to bring an end to the conflict.

The plan proposed amnesty for rebel fighters who had not committed serious crimes, as well as safe passage for those who wanted to return to Russia. It also called for decentralization of the national government, a move that would allow for greater self-rule in the east, though the details of that plan are not yet final.

Russian President Vladimir Putin gave cautious support to the peace plan but said it must lead to talks between both sides. At the same time, the United States said it had evidence that Russia was preparing to send more tanks and artillery to the fighters.

President Barack Obama spoke with Putin by telephone Monday, their first known conversation since speaking at the D-day anniversary commemoration in France this month. The White House said Obama pressed Putin to aid Poroshenko's efforts to defuse the crisis.

With tentative support from Russia and Ukraine's Western allies, the cease-fire provides an opportunity for the two sides to forge a more lasting agreement for the first time since gunmen seized cities throughout eastern Ukraine more than two months ago.

Protesters block a car carrying Russian Ambassador Mikhail Zurabov after a meeting on Monday in Donetsk,  in eastern Ukraine.

Associated Press

Protesters block a car carrying Russian Ambassador Mikhail Zurabov after a meeting on Monday in Donetsk, in eastern Ukraine.

Both sides of Ukrainian conflict agree to cease-fire 06/23/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 24, 2014 12:13am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Iraqi forces sweep into Kirkuk, checking Kurdish independence drive


    KIRKUK, Iraq — After weeks of threats and posturing, the Iraqi government began a military assault Monday to curb the independence drive by the nation's Kurdish minority, wresting oil fields and a contested city from separatists pushing to break away from Iraq.

    Iraqi security forces patrol Monday in Tuz Khormato, about 45 miles south of Kirkuk, a disputed city that the government seized in response to last month’s Kurdish vote for independence.
  2. Trump and McConnell strive for unity amid rising tensions


    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump and Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, tried to convey a sense of harmony Monday after months of private feuding that threatened to undermine their party's legislative push in the coming weeks to enact a sweeping tax cut.

    President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell field questions Monday in the Rose Garden of the White House. “We have been friends for a long time,” Trump said.
  3. 'Me too': Alyssa Milano urged assault victims to tweet in solidarity. The response was massive.

    Human Interest

    Actor Alyssa Milano took to Twitter on Sunday with an idea, suggested by a friend, she said.

    Within hours of Alyssa Milano’s tweet, tweets with the words “me too” began appearing. By 3 a.m. Monday, almost 200,000 metoo tweets were published by Twitter’s count.
  4. Tampa tax shelter schemer too fat for his prison term, attorney says


    TAMPA — A federal judge sentenced two Bay area men to prison terms last week for peddling an offshore tax shelter scheme that cost the IRS an estimated $10 million.

    Duane Crithfield and Stephen Donaldson Sr. were sentenced to prison after marketing a fraudulent offshore tax strategy known as a "Business Protection Plan" to medical practices, offering doctors and others coverage against unlikely events such as a kidnapping.

  5. Weinstein Co., overwhelmed by backlash, may be up for sale


    NEW YORK — The Weinstein Co., besieged by sexual harassment allegations against its namesake and co-founder, may be putting itself up for sale.