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Ukrainian pro-Russian separatists reject president's temporary ceasefire proposal

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko's offer of a temporary ceasefire to allow time for pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine to disarm has been flatly rejected by the rebels.
By JC Finley   |   June 19, 2014 at 11:45 AM   |   Comments

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KIEV, Ukraine, June 19 (UPI) -- Pro-Russian separatists in embattled eastern Ukraine have rejected a truce offered by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

The president announced Wednesday that law enforcement would undertake a "unilateral ceasefire" in eastern Ukraine that would then give pro-Russian armed separatists the opportunity to lay down their weapons and Russian mercenaries to depart Ukraine.

Separatists who seized control of Donetsk, proclaiming it the Donetsk People's Republic, insist they "will not put our weapons away." Their spokesman, Myroslav Rudenko, predicted, "If people fall for it, there will be a new mopping-up operation." Donetsk rebel leader Denis Pushilin called it a "pointless proposal."

"We are interested in the occupiers leaving our territory, the occupiers who are now strategically destroying us," Pushilin said from Moscow.

The Ukrainian president hasn't said what he will do if the rebels refuse to lay down their weapons during the planned "unilateral ceasefire."

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