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KIEV and DONETSK, December 9. /TASS/. A Day of Silence begins at 09:00 am local time in southeastern Ukraine on Tuesday.
A spokesman for the monitoring mission of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and officials of the Joint Center and Control and Coordination of the Ceasefire “reached agreement on the terms of the truce that should take effect at 09:00 hours on December 9.”
An intention to introduce a moratorium on combat actions was made public by President Petro Poroshenko on December 4. The initiative was welcomed by officials of the self-proclaimed independence-minded Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics.
Alexander Zakharchenko, the head of the Donetsk republic said the ceasefire had been declared as far back as September 5 at a meeting of the Contact Group for Ukraine in Minsk.
“We didn’t violate it on a single occasion,” he said. “All the violations have been committed by the Ukrainian Army. If the Ukrainian side doesn’t open fire, we won’t open it either.”
Andrey Lysenko, an official spokesman for the National Security and Defense Council said the objective of the Day of Silence was give a start to the fulfilling of Minsk agreements — that is, to begin the pullback of heavy weaponry, to release prisoners, to clear minefields, and to begin demilitarization of the region.
Representatives of the Joint Center for the Ceasefire are expected to meet on December 9. It is expected that a technical document of some kind spelling out a clear pattern of the withdrawal of heavy weaponry will be signed at the meeting.
Andrey Purgin, the speaker of parliament of the Donetsk Republic, said this pattern would impart an algorithm to actions.
“For a start, we pull out weapons at certain sections and then switch over to other sections and then take other steps,” he said. “Thus the sides will get down to a full-scale ceasefire regime.”
Denis Pushilin, the representative of the DPR at the talks in Minsk said officials in Donetsk felt quite optimistic with regard to the ‘Day of Silence’. “Let’s hope some kind of a ceasefire will begin indeed.”.