Hours after Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said he was willing to order a ceasefire to help stem the flow of violence, separatists rebels refused the offer.
Ukrainian forces spokesman Vladyslav Seleznyov said to Reuters that, "We issued an ultimatum to the terrorists overnight to surrender their weapons. We guarantee their safety and investigation in line with Ukrainian law ... They refused... Now we are trying to narrow the encirclement. They are trying to break out."
Some rebel fighters also spoke about the truce, confirming that they had no interest in putting down arms. Leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, Denis Pushilin, believes the ceasefire is a Ukrainian ploy. "They will stop firing, we will disarm, and they will capture us unarmed — that’s Kiev’s logic," he said, adding, "we are interested in the occupiers leaving our territory, the occupiers who are now systematically destroying us." One separatist fighting outside of Donetsk said he thinks there's no turning back from the violence, at this point. "Maybe there was a way back when this all just started, when the people were out here with the flags to make their point, and before the killing," he said.