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Ukraine’s Security Council deciding on ceasefire extension in Southeast

June 30, 2014, 22:01 UTC+3 KIEV

There have been reports that the ceasefire has been violated

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© ITAR-TASS/Stanislav Krasilnikov

KIEV, June 30. /ITAR-TASS/. Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council is currently deciding on whether to end or extend a ceasefire in the country’s embattled Southeast, Ukraine’s Channel 5 reported Monday.

The Security Council said it will announce its decision by 22:00 (19:00 UTC), when the deadline for the truce declared by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko expires.

Poroshenko, who had won the May 25 early presidential election in Ukraine and taken office on June 7, on June 27 extended by three days a weeklong ceasefire in Ukraine’s Southeast, which he unilaterally announced on June 20 and which was later supported by southeastern militias as well.

There have been numerous reports that the ceasefire has been violated.

After a coup occurred in Ukraine in February, Crimea did not recognize the new leaders and seceded from the country following a referendum. Its example inspired residents of Ukraine’s southeastern territories to defend their rights, and massive protests against the coup-imposed authorities erupted in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

Since mid-April, Kiev has been conducting a military operation involving armored vehicles, heavy artillery and attack aviation against the regions’ residents who support federalization of Ukraine. Hundreds of people, including civilians, have been killed, buildings have been destroyed and tens of thousands have been forced to cross the border from Ukraine to Russia.

The Donetsk and Luhansk regions, which border on Russia, held referendums on May 11, in which most voters supported independence from Ukraine. South Ossetia has recognized the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) and the Luhansk People's Republic (LPR). No other countries have followed suit so far.

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