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Ukraine ceasefire holds but underlying political and military tensions remain


Ukraine

Ukraine ceasefire holds but underlying political and military tensions remain

Pro-Russian separatists have been patrolling the outskirts of Donetsk from where Ukrainian government troops have withdrawn.

Kyiv and Moscow both agree the fragile ceasefire in eastern Ukraine is largely holding but on the ground tensions remain.

Both sides are gradually releasing their prisoners of war – under the truce agreed last Friday all captives are due to be freed by the end of the week..

But it is in Mariupol where tensions are at their highest.

With Russia holding full-scale military drills in recently annexed Crimea, the nearby coastal city of Mariupol is introducing a curfew and transport restrictions .

There’s growing speculation that Moscow might encourage rebels to take the city to establish a supply route to Crimea.

Meanwhile NATO is conducting exercises in Poland. At the military alliance’s summit last week it was agreed that a spearhead rapid reaction force should be set up to get to hotspots within two 48 hours.

On the political front EU ambassadors are set to meet to decide when their latest round of sanctions against Moscow should be implemented.

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Ukraine ceasefire 'stable' despite isolated violence