Separatist leaders in eastern Ukraine have announced a unilateral cease-fire starting at midnight on Wednesday.
Igor Plotnitsky, the
head of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People's
Republic, said that he was seeking peaceful
means to end the civil war.
“Despite the efforts of Russia, France and Germany, Kiev strongly distances itself from its commitments and is not interested in a peaceful resolution of the conflict,” he said in a statement on the republic's government website.
“At the same time, we are constantly accused of not fulfilling the Minsk agreements. Today, in order to demonstrate our commitment to peace, we are unilaterally taking the next step,” Plotnitsky said.
He also called on observers from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) to monitor the cease-fire “fairly.”
Alexander Zakharchenko, the head of the Donetsk People's Republic, has also pledged to implement the cease-fire, the Associated Press reported.
Both men have ordered their military
not to retaliate if fired on by Ukrainian troops, Russia's state-run
NTV news channel reported.
A cease-fire in the region was
officially declared in February, but was repeatedly flouted by both
sides. A renewed truce was pledged on Sept. 1, but a number of
violations have already been reported. Ukrainian officials announced
on Tuesday that three soldiers had died in the past 24 hours in the