Ukrainian forces launch full-scale attack on pro-Russian separatists as ceasefire ends
Both sides have accused the other of violating the truce which only partially paused the fighting
Ukrainian forces have launched a full-scale military attack against pro-Russian separatists in the east of the country, just hours after a fragile truce officially ended.
A Defence Ministry spokesman said one service member had been killed and 17 wounded by rebel attacks over the past 24 hours and an Su-25 attack aircraft was damaged. There was no immediate casualty toll from the rebels.
President Petro Poroshenko had earlier ended a unilateral ceasefire vowing: "We will attack, we will free our land."
In a website statement early this morning President Poroshenko, who had already extended the cease-fire from seven to 10 days, said his decision was "a response to terrorists, rebels, looters," and all those he said are "paralyzing the economy of the region."
The idea of the truce was to give rebels a chance to disarm and to start a broader peace process including an amnesty and new elections, but rebels did not disarm and the ceasefire was continually violated.
Video: Pro-Ukraine activists protests against ceasefire in Kiev
Both sides have accused the other of violating the truce which only partially paused the fighting that has killed more than 400 people since April.
Later on this morning, in a televised address, Poroshenko reiterated that the truce had ended and warned that Ukrainian forces will go on the offensive against the rebels.
"The unique chance to put the peace plan into practice was not realised," Mr Poroshenko said.
"This happened because of the criminal actions of the fighters," he added.
Mr Poroshenko's decision followed four-way talks in search of a solution with Russian president Vladimir Putin, German chancellor Angela Merkel and French president Francois Hollande as the deadline approached.
He issued a statement after the talks saying the key conditions needed to continue the ceasefire had not been met.
European leaders and the US have urged Russia to use its influence with the rebels to ease the bloodshed and have threatened to impose another round of economic sanctions against Moscow.
While Mr Putin has expressed support for the ceasefire, the West has accused Russia of allowing weapons and fighters to flow across the border into Ukraine.
Mr Poroshenko said he meant for a ceasefire to be followed by an amnesty for fighters not considered to have committed serious crimes, and political concessions such as early local and regional elections, protections for speakers of Russian and, in the longer term, changes to the constitution to decentralise power to the regions.
Additional reporting by AP
- 1 Mario Balotelli: Staff at arson-hit Manchester Dogs' Home convinced Liverpool striker is behind five-figure donation
- 2 There is literally not a single woman in this iPhone 6 queue
- 3 Scottish independence: Tory revolt against 'devo max' grows as Rail Minister Claire Perry joins
- 4 Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
- 5 Scottish independence referendum: JK Rowling, Russell Brand, Nigel Farage and more react to the 'No' vote
Scottish independence referendum: Frankie Boyle reacts to nation's 'No' vote - 'To be fair, I've always hated Scotland'
Scottish independence referendum results: David Cameron pledges plans for 'English votes for English laws' by January
Scottish independence live: Scotland gives a clear 'No' in historic referendum - as it happened
Scottish referendum results: David Cameron set to unveil major devolution of powers to England
Scottish independence: Tory revolt against 'devo max' grows as Rail Minister Claire Perry joins
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (CIM, B2B, MS Offi...
£22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organisation wit...
£1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...
£32000 - £42000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...