06:37 GMT +316 December 2017
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    A Ukrainian serviceman guards at a checkpoint near the eastern Ukrainian town of Debaltseve in Donetsk region.

    Donetsk Hopes Ukrainian Military to Observe Ceasefire in Debaltseve

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    Situation in Ukraine After Ceasefire Agreement (450)
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    Defense Ministry of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic hopes Kiev will observe a ceasefire on Friday to evacuate civilians from the city of Debaltseve.

    DONETSK (Sputnik) – A ceasefire has become effective in the shell-stricken eastern Ukrainian city of Debaltseve, the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic's (DPR) Defense Ministry said Friday.

    "A ceasefire is already in effect. We hope that the Ukrainian side will observe it," a source in the DPR's Defense Ministry said.

    DPR Army commander Eduard Basurin said Thursday that Donetsk had offered Ukrainian authorities a full ceasefire from 09:00 a.m. local time (07:00 GMT) Friday so that civilians could be evacuated. The move was supported by Kiev authorities.

    Debaltseve, a city in Donetsk Region, has become a hot spot for clashes between Kiev-led forces and independence supporters in the past few days.

    On Wednesday, DPR officials reported on Kiev's plans to attack civilian targets in the town of Debaltsevo ahead of Munich Security Conference scheduled for February 6-8.

    Despite the ceasefire agreement reached by Kiev and eastern Ukraine independence supporters in September 2014, fighting in southeastern Ukraine intensified severely in the beginning of 2015.

    The shelling of the conflict-torn cities of Donetsk, Mariupol and Debaltseve has claimed the lives of dozens of civilians and wounded hundreds more since the beginning of the year, with the warring sides blaming the attacks on each other.

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    Situation in Ukraine After Ceasefire Agreement (450)

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    Shelling Continues in Debaltseve, Nine Injured
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    ceasefire, DPR Defense Ministry, Eduard Basurin, Debaltsevo, Ukraine
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