In Ukraine, government forces are set to renew offensive operations in the east of the country hours after a ceasefire to allow for peace talks with pro-Russian rebels expired.
Announcing an end to the shaky 10 day truce, President Petro Poroshenko said Ukraine’s military would go on the offensive.
‘‘We will go on the attack and free our land. The non-extension of the ceasefire plan is our response to terrorists, rebels and looters, and all those who torture civilians, who paralyse the country’s economy, who wreck payment of salaries, pensions and scholarships, who explode railway stations and destroy water pipes, who deprive people of a normal peaceful life,’‘ the president said.
Moscow has so far not responded to the move.
Poroshenko called the ceasefire on June 20 with the aim of giving pro-Russian separatists time to disarm and start a broader peace process.
The end of the truce, which has been repeatedly breached, raises the prospect of an escalation in the conflict which has already killed more than 400 people.