Despite Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko's call for a one-week cease-fire on Friday, pro-Russia separatists have continued to launch attacks in the cities of Donetsk and Luhansk. The fighting occurred overnight and the separatists wounded nine border guards.
Associated Press reports that the cease-fire began at 10 p.m. Friday, before which separatists had attacked a Vyselky border post, injuring six Ukrainian guards, while separatists attacked two Donetsk border posts after the cease-fire, wounding three guards. The separatists claim the cease-fire is "fake," while Russian officials say Poroshenko's peace plan needs to include plans to negotiate with the separatists, a plan Poroshenko has rejected since entering office, reports AP. Poroshenko's peace plan includes a six-mile buffer zone, local and parliamentary elections, as well a plan to allow separatists to leave Ukraine.
Pavel Gubarev, a separatist who claims to be the leader of the so-called Donetsk People's Republic, said, "This cease-fire that Poroshenko is talking about is just fake. Ukrainian forces are either not under his control, or he is just a liar," reports AP. The two attacks after the cease-fire were the only reported incidents between separatists and Ukrainian forces.
According to the United Nations, the Ukraine crisis has resulted in the deaths of 356 people, including 257 civilians, and the conflict has displaced 34,000 Ukrainians. The U.S. imposed new sanctions against seven pro-Russian separatist leaders in Ukraine, reports the BBC. On Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered troops in central Russia to be placed on combat alert for a week and has denied a NATO report saying it is amassing soldiers near the Ukrainian border.
The U.S. State Department confirmed a report that Russia sent tanks and weapons across the Ukraine border last week. In addition to the sanctions on separatist leaders, the U.S. and Europe may impose additional restrictions on Russia for its involvement in the Ukraine crisis.