DONETSK/MARIUPOL Ukraine (Reuters) – Shelling erupted in eastern Ukraine’s strategic port Mariupol and its biggest city Donetsk overnight, threatening a ceasefire struck less than two days earlier between Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian separatists.
The ceasefire, brokered by envoys from Ukraine, the separatist leadership, Russia and Europe’s OSCE security watchdog on Friday in Minsk, is part of a peace plan intended to end a five-month conflict that has killed nearly 3,000 people.
KIEV/MARIUPOL Ukraine (Reuters) – Ukrainian government forces came under artillery fire late on Saturday near the strategic port of Mariupol in eastern Ukraine, in the first serious violation of a ceasefire declared only about 30 hours earlier.
The presidents of Russia and Ukraine had earlier said the ceasefire, part of a peace road-map intended to end five months of conflict, was largely holding across eastern Ukraine, where Kiev’s forces have been battling pro-Russian separatists.
DONESTSK/MARIUPOL Ukraine (Reuters) – A ceasefire struck between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine was largely holding on Saturday, though residents and combatants said it was likely to prove a brief interlude before renewed fighting.
Underlining the fragility of the truce, approved on Friday by envoys from Ukraine, the separatist leadership, Russia and the OSCE security watchdog, some residents in rebel-held Donetsk reported sporadic shelling overnight on the city outskirts.
MARIUPOL/DONETSK Ukraine (Reuters) – Heavy fighting between Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian rebels appeared to subside after envoys meeting in Minsk approved a peace deal that included a ceasefire taking effect from 1500 GMT (11.00 a.m. EDT) on Friday.
Minutes after the ceasefire was due to come into force, three explosions were heard north of the city of Donetsk. It was not immediately clear how serious the blasts were.
MARIUPOL/DONETSK Ukraine (Reuters) – Fighting raged between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian rebels just east of the strategic port of Mariupol on Friday, shortly before envoys from Ukraine and Russia were expected to announce a ceasefire as the starting point for a wider peace plan.
Sustained mortar and artillery fire were also heard in Donetsk, the rebels’ main stronghold in eastern Ukraine, from near the city’s airport which remains in government hands.
MARIUPOL, Ukraine, Sept 5 (Reuters) – Ukrainian forces
pounded pro-Russian rebels to the east of the port of Mariupol
on Friday, hours before envoys from Ukraine and Russia were
expected to announce a ceasefire as the starting point for a
wider peace plan.
Ukraine says its forces are trying to repel a big offensive
by the rebels to take Mariupol, a port city of around 500,000 on
the Sea of Azov crucial for its steel exports. It stands about
halfway between Russia and the Russian-annexed Crimea region.
MARIUPOL, Ukraine, Sept 4 (Reuters) – In the backyard of a
former school, masked volunteers snap to attention to mark the
creation of a new fighting unit in the port city of Mariupol in
The ragtag battalion was hurriedly put together from a group
of civilians including a piano teacher, bulldozer operator,
steel worker and bodybuilding instructor as pro-Russian rebels
advanced on Mariupol over the past week.
MARIUPOL/DONETSK Ukraine (Reuters) – Ukraine reinforced its defenses at the port of Mariupol on the Sea of Azov on Thursday in anticipation of a rebel attack amid reports that pro-Russian separatists were advancing on the city with tanks and artillery.
Further north, in the rebel stronghold of Donetsk, renewed shelling killed at least one woman and blew huge holes in residential buildings, a day before talks between Kiev and the separatists on a possible ceasefire.
NEWPORT Wales/MARIUPOL Ukraine (Reuters) – Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and the main pro-Russian rebel leader said they would both order ceasefires on Friday, provided that an agreement is signed on a new peace plan to end the five month war in Ukraine’s east.
The first apparent breakthrough of its kind in the war comes after a week in which the pro-Moscow separatists scored major victories with what NATO says is the open support of thousands of Russian troops.
MARIUPOL, Ukraine, Sept 4 (Reuters) – Ukraine reinforced its
defences at the port of Mariupol on the Sea of Azov on Thursday
in anticipation of a rebel attack amid reports that separatists
were advancing on the city with tanks and artillery.
Mariupol is Ukraine’s largest port on the Sea of Azov and
stands on the way to Russian-annexed Crimea. It has become a
focus of Ukrainian concern after rebels broke away from their
main strongholds further north and took the nearby coastal town
of Novoazovsk, to the east of Mariupol, in late August.