Rebels in Ukraine Break Ceasefire, Military Helicopter Shot Down

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Pro-Russian separatists in Eastern Ukraine have violated the ceasefire, according to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. The ceasefire began June 20th and was meant to last until June 27th. Poroshenko announced the ceasefire unilaterally, though Russian backed rebels did not seem interested in it. Separatist leaders in two areas of the east did formally agree to the truce.

The ceasefire is part of Poroshenko's peace plan. He hopes to end the pro-Russian insurgency near the border, offering safe passage for pro-Russian fighters back into Russia as long as they go peacefully. Unfortunately, it lasted just under four days before Poroshenko deemed it formally broken

"Unfortunately there were violations of the ceasefire from the other side. Last night there were another eight cases, one soldier was killed, seven were wounded," Poroshenko told German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

Rebels attacked military checkpoints with grenade launchers and mortars. Ukrainian government forces say they have held true to the ceasefire, not participating in any military actions since the 20th. The Ukrainian military also determined one of its helicopters was shot down by rebels on Tuesday. The crash was caused by a rocket and killed everyone on board, nine people in total. 

Poroshenko's plans to retaliate are still unclear, though if he plans on keeping steady with his peace plan, we can expect a defensive, rather than offensive, approach to the rebels to continue.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.