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2010 GMT: For the second day in a row, fighting has rocked eastern Ukraine, the ceasefire proposed by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko appears to be broken, and the Russian government is blaming Kiev for the violence. Reuters reports:
The seven-day ceasefire came under pressure almost as soon at it began on Friday night, with the government accusing the separatists of attacking its military bases and posts on the Russian border. The violence continued for a second night into Sunday.
“Unfortunately, what we are seeing … tells us that the fighting is still going on and last night we saw some active use of artillery from the Ukrainian side,” Putin said after laying flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Moscow.
He said it was not clear whether artillery was used by the Ukrainian army or the “so-called paramilitary of the right-wing forces” supporting the government. He appeared to attach no blame to separatist forces.
Meanwhile, riot police have been deployed in Kiev to stop fights between pro-Ukraine crowds and pro-Russia supporters. The Daily Mail reports:
Riot police were deployed in Kiev today as hundreds of masked pro-Ukraine activists marched on a monastery in an attempt to strop pro-Russians holding their own rally.
Protestors, many of them wearing balaclavas or scarves to hide their faces, marched outside Kiev Pechersk Lavra, a revered Orthodox monastery in the city, which was guarded by riot police, including some officers on horseback.
The activists had come to prevent pro-Russian supporters from holding their own march at the monastery, which is under the jurisdiction of the Moscow patriarchy.