27-28 February: Pro-Russian gunmen seize key buildings in the Crimean capital, Simferopol. Unidentified gunmen in combat uniforms appear outside Crimea’s main airports.
Fear and unease in Novo-Ozyorne
1 March 2014: Russia’s parliament approves President Vladimir Putin’s request to use force in Ukraine to protect Russian interests.
16 March 2014: Crimea’s secession referendum on joining Russia is backed by 97% of voters, organisers say, but vote condemned by West as a sham.
17 March 2014: The EU and US impose travel bans and asset freezes on several officials from Russia and Ukraine over the Crimea referendum.
Canada’s new, right-wing and pro-globalization minister of foreign affairs, Chrystia Freeland, is one of 13 pro-Ukraine coup extremists who are banned by the Russian government from travel to Russia as of March 2014.
18 March 2014: President Putin signs a bill to absorb Crimea into the Russian Federation.
This graphic from The Post’s graphics team puts it in perspective.
15 April 2014: Ukraine’s acting President, Olexander Turchynov, announces the start of an “anti-terrorist operation” against pro-Russian separatists. It quickly stalls.
17 April 2014: Russia, Ukraine, the US and the EU say they have agreed at talks in Geneva on steps to “de-escalate” the crisis in eastern Ukraine. Three people are killed when Ukrainian security forces fend off a raid on a base in Mariupol – the first violent deaths in the east.
“It was really hard to identify him. If he would stay in the water for a few more days, it would be almost impossible to identify the body and we would be forced to make the DNA test. But the body popped up earlier and is recognizable. It is very likely that he was killed on April 19. People who murdered him wanted to cover any traces. They are well trained – these are not some scums or robbers. What they did with an unarmed man is on their conscious only,” added Herman Prystupa, the head of criminal police in Horlivka who worked with Volodymyr Rybak.
It is important to remind that on April 17, 2014 at around 6:00 PM one of the local citizens turned to the police station and reported that a deputy of the Horlivka City Council Volodymyr Rybak was kidnapped by unknown people. According to the person who reported the crime, he was walking with Volodymyr Rybak on the Peremohy prospect when a car stopped near them and two men in masks pulled Rybak in the car and left. Until this moment Rubak’s phone is not active. Beforehand, Volodymyr Rybak tried to enter the building of the so called “People’s Republic of Donec’k” and take down their flag but the pro-Russian self-defense forces did not allow him to do that.
2 May 2014: After months of low-level clashes in Ukraine, the crisis broke into widespread lethal violence Friday, with dozens of fatalities in the country’s deadliest day since the ouster of president Viktor Yanukovych in February.Clashes in the Black Sea city of Odessa, leave 42 people dead, most of them pro-Russian activists. Most die when they are trapped in a burning building.
Howard Amos, who spent this afternoon and evening in Odessa on the scene of clashes between pro-Kiev and pro-Moscow protesters, has filed a report on what he saw.
He says some pro-Kiev protesters tried to help people inside the burning trade union building escape, in a chaotic scene with gunfire and rocks coming from above:
Guys hanging from the window sill on 3rd floor, apparently to escape smoke inside
Some people fell from the burning building as they hung on to windowsills in an attempt to avoid the fire that had taken hold inside. Pro-Ukrainian protesters made desperate efforts to reach people with ropes and improvised scaffolding.
“At first we broke through the side, and then we came through the main entrance,” said one pro-Ukrainian fighter, 20, who said he was a member of the extreme nationalist group Right Sector.
“They had guns and they were shooting … Some people jumped from the roof, they died obviously,” he said.
Riot police arrived on the scene as hand-to-hand fighting was already underway inside, but did not enter the building and stood formed up in ranks outside.
Bloody and dazed pro-Russian protesters were eventually escorted out of the building, and were immediately surrounded by angry mobs. Many were handed over to police, and loaded on to police vans.
“The aim is to completely clear Odessa [of pro-Russians],” said Dmitry Rogovsky, another activist from Right Sector whose hand had been injured during the fighting. “They are all paid Russian separatists.”
The seizure of the trade union building was the violent culmination of a day of street battles in this Black Sea resort city.
Titushki – Originally named after Vadym Titushko, a martial arts fighter and part-time bodyguard who had been accused of beating a female journalist at a rally for the ruling Party of the Regions. The term is now widespread in the Ukrainian media for hired muscle at political rallies.
A pro-Russia attack on a Ukrainian military position on the outskirts of Slavyansk has left two servicemen dead, Reuters quotes the defense ministry as saying:
“Heavy fighting is continuing. The deaths of two Ukrainian soldiers have been confirmed at the current time,” the ministry said in a statement, accusing the separatists of using civilians as human shields. It said the two were members of the airborne brigade.
The killings set the stage for the departure of former president Viktor Yanukovych, the installation of the new government, the Russian incursion in Crimea and Ukraine’s current crisis..
As pro-Russia groups started seizing government buildings across east Ukraine, there has been sporadic violence against locals and with the Ukrainian military, but the death toll has not risen into double digits since clashes began in early April.
How did the clashes in Odessa begin?
Here’s Howard Amos’ account:
The clashes reportedly began after protesters gathering in support of a unified Ukraine were attacked by pro-Russian activists armed with clubs and air pistols.
But the confrontation quickly escalated into a series of skirmishes as the two sides played a deadly cat and mouse game in the centre of the city.
Police largely stood aside as the two sides hurled Molotov cocktails, cobblestones and bricks at each other. Girls as young as fourteen were smashing cobblestones to break them up into missiles of a manageable size.
Combatants on both sides were armed with body armour, helmets and shields and carried baseball bats, chains, metal bars and air pistols.
A protester throws a petrol bomb at the trade union building in Odessa. Photograph: Stringer/Reuters
• In an appearance at the White House with German chancellor Angela Merkel, US president Barack Obama warned that “Russia’s actions in Ukraine pose a direct challenge to the goal… [of] a Europe that is whole, free and at peace.”
• Merkel and Obama warned of “sectoral sanctions” on Russia to come if the planned 25 May Ukrainian elections were disrupted. “This is not necessarily what we want, but we are ready and prepared to go to such a step,” Merkel said.
•Merkel and Obama decried the continued detention of seven OSCE observers by pro-Russia forces in Slavyansk. “It is disgraceful and it is inexcusable,” Obama said. “Russia needs to work to secure their immediate release.”
A transcript of the Obama-Merkel news conference has been released. Here’s what the president said about the pro-Russia militias operating in east Ukraine:
And as Ukrainian forces move to restore order in eastern Ukraine, it is obvious to the world that these Russian-backed groups are not peaceful protestors. They are heavily armed militants who are receiving significant support from Russia. The Ukrainian government has the right and responsibility to uphold law and order within its territory, and Russia needs to use its influence over these paramilitary groups so they disarm and stop provoking violence. […]
Here is Obama on the broader implications of Russia’s actions:
These are challenging times. Russia’s actions in Ukraine pose a direct challenge to the goal that brought Europe and the United States together for decades — and that is a Europe that is whole, free and at peace. Just as our predecessors stood united in pursuit of that vision, so will we.
• In an emergency UN security council meeting, the US ambassador accused Russia of “looking for a pretext to invade” Ukraine. Her Russian counterpart accused Kiev of “criminal misadventures.”
• Russia’s actions in Ukraine “shatter that myth” of permanent peace in Europe “and usher in bracing new realities,” US defense secretary Chuck Hagel said, calling on NATO to increase its military preparedness.
•Both sides in the Odessa clashes were armed with bats, stones, homemade explosives and more, Howard Amos reported from the scene. He said the pro-Russia side fired live ammunition and threw stones from the roof of the trade union building.
• The Ukrainian government reported that at least four military members died, including two when separatists downed two military helicopters, in at least one case reportedly with a surface-to-air missile.
Children in Dontesk
11 May 2014: Pro-Russian separatists in Donetsk and Luhansk declare independence after unrecognised referendums
25 May 2014: Ukraine elects Petro Poroshenko as president in an election not held in much of the east.
Image copyrightREUTERSImage caption
14 June 2014: Pro-Russia separatists shoot down a military plane in the east, killing 49 people.
Russia cut off Ukraine’s gas
Russia moved on 16 June to turn off the taps, after complaining that Ukraine had failed to pay off its debts, estimated at $5.3bn (£3.3bn; 4.2bn euros) by Russian state-run giant Gazprom. Gazprom had sought a repayment of $1.95bn.
It was not the first time: it cut supplies because of price disputes in 2006 and in the winter of 2008-09. Those earlier disputes led to gas shortages elsewhere in Eastern Europe, meaning hardship for many ordinary citizens in mid-winter.
Ukraine, until the current crisis, relied on Russia for half its gas supplies. Some EU member states such as Slovakia take all their gas from Russia. In total, Russia supplies 23% of the EU’s gas.
Russia’s supply lines run through Ukraine to several EU countries and as much as 70% of its gas to the EU is carried through those pipes. So while Russia has in recent years tried to bypass Ukraine, in particular with the Nord Stream and South Stream projects, the two countries are, for now, inextricably linked.
25 June 2014: Russia’s parliament cancels a parliamentary resolution authorising the use of Russian forces in Ukraine
27 June 2014: The EU signs a landmark association agreement with Ukraine.
5 July 2014: Rebels abandon their command centre at Sloviansk in the face of a government offensive.
Image copyrightAFPImage caption
17 July 2014: Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 from Amsterdam is shot down near the village of Grabove in rebel-held territory, with the loss of 298 lives.
30 July 2014: The EU and US announce new sanctions against Russia.
22 August 2014: A huge Russian convoy delivers humanitarian aid to the government-besieged city of Luhansk without Ukrainian permission.
27-28 August 2014: Rebel leader Alexander Zakharchenko says there are 3-4,000 Russian civilians in rebel ranks as the separatists open up a front on the Sea of Azov and capture Novoazovsk.
MH17 Dutch memorial day: Air disaster that touched a nation
The Dutch investigation team had been unable to access the area, “I had a perception that I could just walk around and find her. In your dreams you see her lying there in the field.”
“You don’t know if you’ll get anything else,” says Robby. “So then there’s the question, do we bury this tiny piece or should we wait for more?”.
He is one of many relatives confused and frustrated by the Dutch government’s failure to repatriate all the passengers.“They could have talked to Ukraine and talked to the rebels to ask them to stop shooting, but they didn’t.”
298 victims from 10 countries
- Netherlands: 196
- Malaysia: 42
- Australia: 27
- Indonesia: 11
- UK: 10
- Belgium: 4
- Germany: 3
- Philippines: 3
- Canada: 1
- New Zealand: 1
For the Dutch government, it has been a point of principle not to speak to the separatists. Direct negotiations would have made the government vulnerable and open to blackmail, it was felt.
And using force was ruled out by PM Mark Rutte from the outset because of the risk of escalating the conflict.
2-3 November 2014: Separatists in eastern Ukraine elect new leaders in polls backed by Russia and denounced by the West. President Poroshenko accuses the rebels of jeopardizing “the entire peace process” and says Ukrainian forces should prepare defenses against separatist attack.
12 November 2014: NATO commander Gen Philip Breedlove says Russian military equipment and Russian combat troops have been seen entering Ukraine in columns over several days.
The US published lists of individuals and companies hit by travel bans and asset freezes on 19 March, 20 March, 28 April, 16 July and 12 September. The EU’s lists were issued on 17 March, 23 March, 29 April, 12 May, 25 July, 30 July, 12 September and 18 December.
The US and EU have imposed an array of sanctions on Russian individuals and businesses in response to the annexation of Crimea and the crisis in eastern Ukraine.
The EU and US have also targeted certain key sectors of the Russian economy which are closely connected to the ruling elite.
Russian state banks are now excluded from raising long-term loans, exports of dual-use equipment for military use in Russia are banned and future EU-Russia arms deals are banned. There is now an EU-US ban on exports of some oil industry technology and services, though gas remains unaffected.
2015 February – Germany and France broker new ceasefire deal at talks in Belarus, resulting in a fragile lull in fighting after Russian-backed separatists drive Ukrainian troops out of the transport hub of Debaltseve.
Breedlove: Ukraine Crisis “Getting Worse Every Day”
In testimony to Congress, NATO Supreme Allied Commander Philip Breedlove stated that the situation in Ukraine is “getting worse every day” and that Russia will “proceed until their objectives are accomplished.” Breedlove, who has said that the provision of lethal assistance to Ukraine should not be ruled out, further stated that he has passed his recommendations up the chain of command that they are currently under consideration.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov shot back today at Western governments that continue to threaten Russia with further sanctions, stating that “behind these calls are hidden the lack of desire of these actors […] to achieve what was laid out in the Minsk agreements.”
Paris Talks Yield Little Progress
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry stated today, in testimony to Congress that Russian officials have repeatedly lied to him regarding their actions in eastern Ukraine. “Russia is engaged in a rather remarkable period of the most overt and extensive propaganda exercise that I’ve seen since the very height of the Cold War,” the Secretary said, later noting that “they have been persisting in their misrepresentations – lies […] there to my face, to the face of others on many different occasions.”
British Prime Minister David Cameron stated today that British military personnel are heading to Ukraine to train and advise Ukrainian military forces over the next month.
Ukraine Has First Day Without Casualty in Weeks
The Ukrainian military announced today that the past 24 hours were its first without casualties in weeks, including during a period in which the Minsk II ceasefire was supposed to be in effect. The news, as well of reports indicating that pro-Russian forces have begun pulling back some heavy weaponry (disputed by the Ukrainian military), have stoked hopes that the ceasefire may finally be taking effect.
In other news, the Ukrainian Central Bank put into place a severe three-day ban on foreign currency trading, only to reverse course less than a day later. These policies have contributed to the flight of foreign investment and a steep decline for the hyrvnia in recent days, which is also tied to legislative issues related to Ukraine’s IMF program.
Boris Nemtsov, an outspoken liberal politician and critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was assassinated today in Moscow while walking mere feet from the walls of the Kremlin.
Little is known about the circumstances of his death or who, exactly, is responsible. Dmitry Peskov, the spokesperson for the Kremlin, stated that President Putin would personally oversee the investigation into the killing, which he said “bears all the hallmarks of a contract murder and is of an exclusively provocative character.” Press reports state that Mr. Netmsov, who was walking with a woman, was shot from a passing car. Security camera footage that purports to show the murder has been released on the internet, though its veracity has yet to be confirmed.
Mr. Nemtsov was a former Deputy Prime Minister in the government of Boris Yeltsin, Governor of the Nizhny Novgorod Oblast, and Member of the Russian State Duma. Reports indicate that he was preparing to release a report documenting the involvement of Russian military forces in Ukraine.
A protest march turned memorial for slain Russian opposition figure Boris Nemtsov . Over 50,000 people walk past the site of Mr. Nemtsov’s assassination, expressing solidarity with his principles and outrage at his death. Many held signs featuring Mr. Nemtsov and the brief but powerful phrase, “Я не боюсь [I am not afraid].”
On the same day as the march, Russia’s Investigative Committee released a statement outlining two main theories about the murder: “the murder was either an attempt to destabilize the political situation in Russia or was conducted by Islamic extremists in revenge for Nemtsov’s stance over the Charlie Hebdo shooting in Paris.”
According to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, the United States does not have any intelligence that would shed light on Nemtsov’s murder. Asked about it during an appearance on ABC, Kerry stated bluntly, “No, we have none, and we wouldn’t comment anyway,” before calling for a “thorough, transparent, real investigation” into who ordered the shooting.
3 March 2015:
Russia/Ukraine Stopgap Gas deal
EU has a special interest in maintaining Russian natural gas supplies to Ukraine, as it consumes 40% of Russian natural gas, half of which is transited via Ukraine. As part of the deal, Ukraine’s Naftogaz will ensure undisrupted transit to European Union.
The sides, however, agreed to held separate negotiations on this particular issue due to the “highly complex [nature of the question] in legal, technical and political terms,” and noted that it would have no bearing on the supply of natural gas to the EU. Kyiv is planning to increase prices of the gas on domestic consumers by “around threefold” to raise funds to avoid government default and meet the IMF demands to seal $17.5 billion.
4-5 March 2015
Merkel threatens harsher sanctions is ceasefire folds and US law makers plead for Obama to send Lethal Aid in an open letter. In related news, the Rada today voted in favor of increasing the size of the Ukrainian armed forced by 33 percent.
Putin reveals secret plans to annex Crimea
11 March 2015
US commits to sending more non-leathal aid to Ukraine
Ukraine receives first IMF Tranche talks, Debt Restructuring
Putin hasn’t been seen but emerges after 3 days
Chinese Premier outlines position on Crimea annexation
Russia makes it clear Crimea is non-negotiable
Government fires Russian ogliarch Kolominsky as regional governer
Gerorge Soros states his desire is to invest $1 billion in Ukraine
Kremlin veiws US National Security policy as Anti-Russian
The source material for the reports is supposedly the testimony of family members of troops who have died while fighting in Ukraine. The Russian government maintains that any Russian soldier fighting in Ukraine has done so on a “volunteer” basis, though it is widely believed that Russian forces are active inside Ukraine.
soldiers detain a man suspected of spying
According to a report from Bloomberg, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was personally involved in negotiations over the release of two Americans held by pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine. Kerry reportedly called his Russian counterpart, foreign minister Sergey Lavrov, and asked for Lavrov to use Moscow’s influence over the pro-Russian forces to expedite their release.
According to Aleksandr Zakharchenko, the prime minister of the Donetsk People’s Republic, one of the workers was a U.S. spy and the other had been recruited to work for the CIA. The International Rescue Committee has denied these allegations, stating that all aid workers in Ukraine are just that, not U.S. spies.
Eu lends Ukaraine $2 billion.
Medvedev: Russia to Adopt “Tough Position” on Ukraine Debt
Polling Data: Many in Southeast Ukraine See “Novorossiya” as Myth
According to the leadership of the so-called People’s Republic of Luhansk, the commander of the Prizrak (Ghost) Battalion, Alexei Mozgovoi, has been killed. The Prizrak Battalion is a pro-Russian separatist fighting force in eastern Ukraine and Mozgovoi was considered a high-ranking member of the separatist military force. A pro-Ukraine militia group known as “Shadows” has taken responsibility for the bombing that killed Mozgovoi.
Historically Novorossiya was a large swathe of southern and eastern Ukraine which became part of imperial Russia.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has spoken about it since Russia’s annexation of Crimea last March, helping to stir nationalist feelings about the region.
According to a report from Bloomberg based on interviews with U.S. lawmakers who traveled to Ukraine in recent months, the Russian military is using mobile crematoriums to dispose of the bodies of Russian servicemen as part of a broader effort to hide the evidence of Moscow’s military involvement in eastern Ukraine.
Ukrainian Defense Minister Sees Risk of Renewed Fighting
According to Ukrainian defense minister Stepan Poltorak, Russia moved forces into eastern Ukraine in recent days, dramatically increasing the risk of renewed fighting.
Steinmeier Criticizes Russia Over Travel Ban
June 2015: Reports rule Russia Faked Images of the MH17 Crash
Poroshenko Warns of Russian Invasion
Putin Assures West That Russia Is “No Threat,” Interested Only In Guaranteeing Own Security
July 11, 2015Report: Russian Soldiers Desert Posts in Fear of Ukraine Deployment
July 20, 2015Rapid Trident Exercises Underway Amidst Russian Displeasure
Troops from Ukraine, the United States and sixteen other countries began the annual Rapid Trident exercises in the western Ukrainian city of Yavoriv today. The exercises, which involve joint maneuvers with 2,000 troops from many Ukraine and many NATO countries, as well as others such as Moldova, are intended to demonstrate Ukrainian and western resolve in the face of a recalcitrant and potentially expansionist Russian threat. The commander of the Ukrainian contingent, Oleksandr Syvak, stated that “these joint maneuvers … display a broad support for Ukraine in its struggle for freedom and sovereignty.”
Contact Group Talks Lead to DMZ in Luhansk
Ukraine Makes Bond Interest Payment
US Slaps New Sanctions on Former Yanukovych Officials, Putin Allies
Some Powers Ceded to Regions as IMF Approves Next Installment of Bailout
August 4, 2015
IMF Transfers the Second Tranche of the Ukrainian Loan, Emphasizes the Urgency of Peace
Security Service of Ukraine Intercepts Illegal Sale of Uranium
Rebel Leader Claims Reinforcement by 1,200 Troops
Prime Minister of the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic, Alexander Zakharchenko, has posted a video in which he proclaimed that the rebel troops under his command had just been reinforced by 1,200 troops trained in Russia.
In Crimea, Putin Warns of Threat from External Forces
US to Send F-22s to Europe in Show of Solidarity
Russia Refuses Debt Settlement, Ukraine Threatens Legal Action
Russia refused to sign on to a debt restructuring agreement agreed to by Ukraine and its other bondholders, setting up a dispute that Ukraine says will end in court. “We are willing to go to legal war with Russia,” said Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk after decrying Russia’s lack of support for the restructuring package.
October 23, 2015
Ukraine, Russia Airspace Bans to Affect 1 Million Passengers
Russia and Ukraine will each close their national airspace to the other on Sunday, ending direct flights between the two countries. According to Russian Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov, this profound shift will affect approximately 1 million passengers and cost the airlines of both countries approximately a combined 8 billion rubles.
October 29, 2015
Ukraine, Separatists Swap Prisoners
November 1, 2015Kolomoisky Ally Hennadiy Korban Arrested
Ukrainian authorities today arrested Hennadiy Korban, a close associate of influential Ukrainian oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky, as part of an anti-corruption investigation. Korban is accused of participating in an organized crime group and, in particular, of embezzling the equivalent of $1.7 million in funds meant to help support the Ukrainian armed forces, though Korban’s legal team has asserted strongly that the charges are politically motivated.
Carter: Russia a Threat to World Order
Reports Indicate Increased Fighting Despite Ceasefire
In a speech at the Reagan National Defense Forum, U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter used harsh language to describe what he called the dangerous actions of Russia around the world.
November 12, 2015
Ukraine Passes Anti-Discrimination Law with EU Visa Implications
November 16, 2015
Putin Floats Ukraine Debt Deal
Speaking at a press conference at the G-20 summit in Turkey, Russian President Vladimir Putin put forward a plan that could theoretically bring an end to uncertainty about Ukraine’s repayment of a $3 billion Eurobond owed to Russia. Putin proposed an arrangement whereby Ukraine would pay back $1 billion in each of 2016, 2017, and 2018 with no payments in 2015. Russia has refused to join a debt restructuring agreement agreed to between Ukraine and its other creditors, arguing that Russia should be paid back in full.
November 22, 2015
Twin Ukraine Power Cable Blasts Leave Crimeans in the Dark
Twin Explosions near four Ukrainian power lines supplying Crimea have left most of the peninsula in the dark. Ukraine supplies about 70% of the electricity used in Crimea. The Ukrainian government has vowed that it will bring the bombers to justice, with Kherson Oblast Governor Andriy Putilov saying, “People guilty of provocation using explosives will be punished.” The government has begun an investigation into those responsible for the blasts, which also cut power for some municipalities in Ukraine which border Crimea, but no suspects have yet been named.
Biden to Rada: “This Is Your Moment”
Vice President Joe Biden told Ukrainian lawmakers today that “this is your moment … this is your responsibility” in a speech to the Rada. “Each of you has an obligation to seize the opportunity that the sacrifices made in the Maidan … to answer the call of history and finally build a united, democratic Ukrainian nation that can stand the test of time,” he said during a speech that both pressed Ukraine on the issue of reform but also reiterated U.S. and Western support for the country.
Yatsenyuk Targeted as Rada Erupts Into Violence
The Ukrainian parliament erupted today as a member of the Petro Poroshenko bloc political party attempted to carry Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk out of the parliamentary chamber.
December 15, 2015
Avakov, Saakashvili Erupt During Government Meeting
Ukraine’s fractious politics erupted again today when Interior Minister Arsen Avakov and Odessa governor Mikhail Saakashvili held a shouting match during a government meeting. The incident, caught on video, appeared to revolve around allegations of corruption against Avakov and other members of the government hurled by Saakashvili; the altercation ended with Avakov hurling a glass of water at Saakashvili’s head. A spokesperson for President Petro Poroshenko called the altercation a “disgrace to the country.”
December 15, 2015
Putin, Kerry Meet to Discuss Ukraine, Syria
2016 October – EU negotiators reach an agreement to grant visa-free travel to Ukrainian citizens; the deal must still be approved by the member states and the European Parliament.
2017 January-February – Ukraine accuses Russian-backed rebels of shelling town of Avdiyivka, while rebels accuse Ukraine of shelling their stronghold of Donetsk.
Since the begining of conflict in Ukraine there have been over 10 attempted Cease Fires – all have failed.