Ukraine crisis: Shaky ceasefire holds as talks expected

Ukraine crisis Shaky ceasefire holds as talks expected

Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine are observing a ceasefire after weeks of bitter fighting, officials say.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko had earlier called for a “Day of Silence”, to make a widely-violated ceasefire deal stick.

New talks between the rebels and the government could take place in Belarus in the coming days.

Russia has resumed gas supplies to Ukraine after months of tough talks.

Ukrainian pipeline operator Ukrtransgaz says up to 43.5m cubic metres (1.5bn cu ft) will be imported daily, to prevent winter shortages.

Ukraine has paid Russia’s Gazprom $378m (£242m; €308m) in advance for December deliveries, officials say.

Russia cut off Ukraine’s gas in June as the conflict between the government in Kiev and the rebels in the east escalated. But a new gas deal was reached through EU mediation in October.

Ukraine and its Western allies accuse Russia of supplying heavy weapons and troops to the rebels – something Moscow has repeatedly denied.

The warring sides signed a truce in Minsk in September, but more than 1,000 people have been killed in fighting since then, the UN says.

Some of the heaviest fighting has raged at Donetsk airport.




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