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KIEV, June 30, /ITAR-TASS/. A ceasefire between the government troops and the militia in the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics in the south-east of Ukraine expired at 23:00 Moscow time.
Official Kiev has made no statement so far.
The ceasefire was announced on June 20. On June 27, Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko extended it for 72 hours until 22:00 Kiev time (23:00 Moscow time) June 30.
The government troops have repeatedly violated the ceasefire by shelling different towns and populated localities in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions. Last night alone, Russian Channel One cameraman Anatoly Klyan was killed in one of such attacks in Donetsk.
Kiev’s army operation against the supporters of federalisation in the south-east of Ukraine began in April. Since then dozens of peaceful people were killed and hundreds wounded, and many hundred houses were damaged during the raids carried out by the army, the Interior Ministry, the National Guard and militants from the far-right group Right Sector.
Thousands of Ukrainians had to flee their homes, most of them seeking refuge in Russia.
President Vladimir Putin called for extending the ceasefire in the south-east of Ukraine.
In a telephone conversation earlier in the day, President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande, and Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko continued to “discuss ways to settle the acute crisis in Ukraine”, the presidential press service said.
“Putin stressed the need to extend the ceasefire and create a reliable mechanism for monitoring compliance with it, with the active role of the OSCE [Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe],” it said.
The leaders called for organising the next round of consultations between representatives of Kiev and south-eastern regions at the earliest opportunity and agreed to instruct their foreign ministers to get in touch with each other promptly in order to work out the issues touched upon by the presidents during their conference call.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov explained later that Putin had “suggested that representatives of Ukraine’s border service and OSCE observers be placed at these border-crossing points on the Russian territory for joint control of the border”.
“We hope that the Russian president’s initiative will allow everyone on whom it depends to support and ensure the adoption of the decision to extend the period of ceasefire and truce,” he concluded.