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Ukraine and Russia-backed separatists agree new ceasefire

The Ukrainian government and Russia-backed separatists have agreed on a new ceasefire in the country's war-torn east, a spokesman for the Ukrainian government said .

Fighting between government forces and Russia-backed rebels in Ukraine's industrial heartland has killed more than 10,000 people and displaced more than a million since it began in 2014.

A ceasefire between the warring parties was first negotiated in 2015 but it has been repeatedly violated.

Darka Olifer, spokeswoman for Ukrainian government envoy Leonid Kuchma at talks with separatist rebels, said they agreed to a ceasefire in the east starting on Saturday to allow residents to begin harvesting crops.

The conflict in eastern Ukraine has recently seen an increase in fighting, with troops and civilians killed and injured in indiscriminate shelling.

On Tuesday, the monitoring mission of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe said that rebel fighters shot at its patrol of two armoured vehicles outside the rebel stronghold of Donetsk.

Separatists' mouthpiece Donetsk News Agency reported on Wednesday that separatist authorities denied any role in the incident and said they have detained the individuals who attacked the patrol.



From Belfast Telegraph