Ukraine and Pro-Russian rebels signed a cease-fire on Friday but shelling was heard in Mariupol and regional center Donetsk multiple times during Sunday. The agreement seemed to have lasted for the entire day of Saturday.
On Friday, Petro Poroshenko declared:
“It is very important that this ceasefire lasts long and that during this ceasefire we continue political dialogue to find peace and stability.”
The Donetsk rebels Twitter account declared that the pro-Russian forces are taking over Mariupol on Sunday and then accused Ukraine of having breached the cease-fire. One day before there were only minor violations that were reported.
Both of the sides involved in the conflict accused the other of having violated the agreement but there was no serious fire exchange and no casualties are reported. However, the incidents highlighted that a practical, political agreement is not close.
The cease-fire started as the rebel forces seized Novoazovsk 10 days prior to the signing. According to Kiev, the recent advantages gained by the rebels are caused by Russian help through armour and soldiers.
In Mauripol, locals declared that Ukrainian battle tanks have pulled back and rebels are currently holding positions outside the city.
The atmosphere during the weekend was relaxed, with many residents preferring annexation to Russia in the past but now just wanting peace.
During Saturday there were telephone conversations between Poroshenko and Putin about how to make the cease-fire last longer. However, the final solution is still unclear.
According to analysts, Moscow will push towards either a breakaway state that is to function independently but without international recognition or that the eastern part of Ukraine will have autonomy so that it turns into a Russian proxy region, thus making sure that Ukraine will never join NATO.