Ukraine President Orders Ceasefire

Petro Poroshenko, Ukraine’s president has said a truce agreed with pro-Russian rebels in the east must be honored, as he ordered the army to stop fighting.

Poroshenko said, “perhaps the last chance for peace won’t be lost,” adding that agreements “must be honoured, and we are expecting that the ceasefire deal will be adhered to.”

He also warned the rebels against continuing attacks on the besieged strategic town of Debaltseve.

However, fighting appeared to have died down immediately after the ceasefire took effect on Saturday.

But later both the government and the separatists accused each other of mortar shelling in some places.

Earlier on Saturday, rebel leaders had also ordered their forces to stop fighting in line with the ceasefire.

Fighting had raged near Debaltseve just hours before the truce was due to kick in.

Officials say more than 5,400 people have been killed since the conflict erupted in eastern Ukraine in April, but the UN believes the actual death toll is much higher.

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