Ukraine announces cease-fire over, offensive starts - CBS 3 Springfield - WSHM

Ukraine announces cease-fire over, offensive starts

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Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko says the rebels did not disarm, and the cease-fire was continually violated. (Source: CBS) Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko says the rebels did not disarm, and the cease-fire was continually violated. (Source: CBS)

KIEV, UKRAINE (CBS) - Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said on Monday he is halting a unilateral cease-fire in the conflict with pro-Russian separatists and says Ukrainian forces will go on the offensive against the rebels.

Addressing the nation, Poroshenko said he made the decision after a meeting of the national security council and that non-renewal of the cease-fire was "our answer to the terrorists, rebels and looters."

The fragile cease-fire expired on Monday night. The idea was to give rebels a chance to disarm and to start a broader peace process including an amnesty and new elections.

But rebels did not disarm, and the cease-fire was continually violated, the president said.

Rebels did not comply with Poroshenko's latest push to get them to turn over key border crossings with Russia, and permit international monitoring of the cease-fire.

The recently-elected Poroshenko had already extended the cease-fire from seven days as part of a plan to end fighting that has killed more than 400 people since April.

"I, as commander-in-chief, have decided not to renew the regime of unilateral cease-fire. The protection of Ukraine's territorial integrity, security, and lives of civilians, requires not only defensive but offensive action against terrorist militants," Poroshenko said. "The Armed Forces, the National Guard, the State Border Service, and the Security Service have received appropriate orders. In the realization of the task to defend territorial integrity, they are no longer limited within the regime of cease-fire. We will advance and we will liberate our land. Non-renewal of the cease-fire is our answer to the terrorists, rebels and looters."

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