Report: Ukraine, Russia Reach 'Mutual Understanding' to End Violence in East Ukraine

Report: Ukraine, Russia Reach 'Mutual Understanding' to End Violence in East Ukraine

Ukraine and Moscow met on Monday and it appears the two sides may have come to some sort of agreement to stop the violence in east Ukraine.

“As a result of the work, the sides reached a mutual understanding on key stages of the implementation of the plan and on a list of priorities which will contribute to a de-escalation of the situation in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine,” the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The meeting includes Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko, Russian ambassador to Kiev Mikhail Zurabov, and members of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). There were no further details of the talks or exactly what was in the plan.

Poroshenko was elected on May 25 and visited with President Barack Obama in Warsaw last Wednesday. Obama said Poroshenko shared with him his plan to bring peace and unity to Ukraine and thinks it will work.

After he was elected, Poroshenko vowed to continue the anti-terrorist operation and fighting is still raging in east Ukraine. The Ukrainian army is in control of Luhansk airport, but one soldier told AFP they faced the “worst rebel attack” over the weekend. But in another fight, the pro-Russians captured the border guard headquarters in Luhansk.

“We, including eight among us wounded by bullets and grenades … sincerely waited for help from you but it never came,” border guards wrote to the defense minister.

Border guards in Marynivka are not giving up despite the numerous attacks and no help from Kiev. From Reuters:

Last week they fought off an assault by up to 150 rebels seeking control over supply routes from Russia to bring in arms and other war materials, forcing them to abandon two armored personnel carriers strafed with machinegun fire.

“They [Kiev] told us to expect reinforcements. We’re hoping for them soon,” one guard told Reuters. “They (the separatist rebels) drove around us in circles shooting for about four or five hours.”

In Slaviansk, the constant violence forces families to seek shelter in basements or flee the city. A water pipeline broke last Tuesday and the city shut off the water, but no one can reach the pipe to fix it because of the fighting.