Pro-Russian rebels and the Ukrainian government have signed a ceasefire deal that will begin at approximately 6 p.m. local time in Kiev (11 a.m. ET).
The deal came after talks in the Belarussian capital of Minsk, which also included representatives of Russia and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe. The leaders of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic in eastern Ukraine had earlier announced the ceasefire on its Twitter account.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk said at the top of a cabinet meeting in Kiev on Friday that any broader peace deal must include three conditions, according to Reuters: a ceasefire, a withdrawal of “Russian forces and Russian bandits and terrorists,” and the “restoration” of Ukraine’s state border with Russia.
The specifics of the ceasefire deal weren’t immediately disclosed.
Fighting has raged in eastern Ukraine for months, as pro-Russian separatists have battled Ukrainian forces looking to restore order to the country’s eastern region. Upon entering office in June, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko stepped up his military offensive in the east.
Over the past few weeks, Russia has significantly escalated its involvement in the conflict. NATO said last week that more than 1,000 Russian troops crossed the border into Ukraine, and other, more recent estimates upped that total. Russian forces’ direct involvement shifted the balance in the conflict and gave pro-Russian separatists a boost after Ukraine’s military made significant advances.
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