SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – The two sides, meeting in Belarusian capital Minsk, agreed to stop firing by 15:00 GMT. However, the anti-government forces said the truce had not changed their policy of advocating separation from Ukraine. More than 2,600 people have died since conflicts started several eastern cities. The anti-government forces, who had largely been pushed back towards their strongholds of Donetsk and Luhansk, made new advances in recent days.
Earlier in the day, fighting was reported around Donetsk and Mariupol, a coastal city about 110km to the south. Witnesses said three large explosions were heard in Donetsk after the ceasefire came into force. But later reports suggested fighting in both cities had subsided. The West accuses Russia of sending arms and troops to back the rebels in eastern Ukraine, an allegations denied by Russia.