Ukrainian troops and pro-Russian separatists near Donetsk are said to have arranged a local truce in order for the handover of 49 bodies – victims of last weekend’s downing of a transport plane by the rebels.
Ukraine’s president has promised a wider unilateral ceasefire intended to allow all the separatists to lay down their arms.
One rebel confirmed the bodies were being carried in a container on board a lorry. As the vehicle was driven over to the Ukrainian troops he made it clear his side hadn’t received anything in return. “From the moment that we handed over the remains, the ceasefire was over, and the war goes on until we win,” he said.
There are no other signs of the ceasefire coming into force as yet. Military operations are apparently continuing in Slovyansk.
President Petro Poroshenko’s proposal which includes an amnesty has been cautiously welcomed by Moscow, but it’s unclear if it is willing or able to persuade the pro-Russian rebels to accept the peace initiative.