Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Fighting Intensifies After Ukraine's Poroshenko Declares End to Cease-Fire

EU Holds Off on Agreeing to Additional Sanctions, Officials Say

By Gregory L. White, WSJ
Updated July 1, 2014 7:41 a.m. ET

MOSCOW—Ukrainian forces used aircraft and artillery against pro-Russian separatists in the east of the country early Tuesday, as fighting intensified after President Petro Poroshenko declared an end to a 10-day unilateral cease-fire that had failed to stop the violence.

"The active phase of the antiterrorist operation resumed this morning," Parliament Speaker Oleksandr Turchynov, told legislators in Kiev on Tuesday. "Our armed forces are striking the bases and staging areas of the terrorists."

The decision to use the army represents a gamble by Mr. Poroshenko that Russia won't send in its troops, massed for months on the other side of the border, and that Kiev's ragtag forces can oust the increasingly well-armed militants.

Fighting was reported in several areas across the region, including at posts along the Russian border that Ukrainian forces had lost to separatists in recent weeks, as well as near the international airport in Donetsk, the region's largest city. Separatist officials also confirmed the fighting had picked up across the region.

Four civilians were killed and five wounded in the city of Kramatorsk, near the rebel stronghold of Slovyansk, when a bus was hit by shell fire early Tuesday, officials from the regional government in Donetsk said, according to the Interfax news agency. It wasn't clear which side fired the shots. A military spokesman said one serviceman had been killed and 17 wounded in the last 24 hours in the region, Interfax reported. Shelling overnight also brought down the television tower near Slovyansk, officials said.

(More here.)

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