Thursday, November 27, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Ukraine’s president offers cease-fire in east

By
From page A10 | June 19, 2014 |

KIEV, Ukraine — The new president of Ukraine promised on Wednesday that government troops would soon stop firing on pro-Russian armed separatists, offering a chance to end the fighting that has killed hundreds and wracked the industrial east.

In another concession to Moscow, Petro Poroshenko replaced his foreign minister, who had outraged Russians by using an obscenity to describe President Vladimir Putin.

An end to the two months of fighting and a promised safe exit for rebels would allow Putin to say that Russia has fulfilled its goal of protecting Russian speakers in eastern Ukraine, while Poroshenko can claim victory over the rebellion.

The Ukrainian president discussed his plan for a unilateral cease-fire in a phone call with Putin late Tuesday, their offices said, and Poroshenko also spoke with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Russia’s foreign minister cautiously welcomed the move, but voiced concern that it could be a ruse. One key question is whether Moscow is willing and able to persuade the pro-Russia insurgents to accept Poroshenko’s plan.

Rebel leaders have remained defiant, but in a sign of behind-the-scenes maneuvering, some of them visited Moscow this week to meet with senior officials and lawmakers.

The two sides managed to arrange a brief truce Wednesday evening in the eastern town of Karlivka to allow pro-Russian forces to hand over the bodies of 49 Ukrainian troops who died when the separatists shot down a transport plane bound for the airport in Luhansk last weekend.

But after the truck carrying the remains had passed to the Ukrainian side, both sides fell back to their respective positions. A pro-Russian fighter, whose face was covered with a bandanna and identified himself only by his nom-de-guerre, Sova, said the cease-fire was over. “The war will go on until we win,” he said.

U.N. Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Simonovic called Poroshenko’s cease-fire announcement “a timely initiative.” But he stressed that it was “a real challenge” because U.N. human rights monitors in eastern Ukraine believe there are at least three distinct armed groups that don’t fully coordinate.

“This may represent a problem because some of them might be adhering to cease-fires, some not,” Simonovic told the International Peace Institute in New York.

If successful, the plan could help ease the worst crisis between Russia and the West since the Cold War, a situation triggered by Moscow’s annexation of Crimea in March following the ouster of Ukraine’s pro-Russia president.

Poroshenko didn’t say when the cease-fire could be declared, but the defense minister, Mykhailo Koval, was quoted as saying it could begin “within days.”

“The plan will begin with my order for a unilateral cease-fire,” Poroshenko told reporters in Kiev. “I can say that the period of the cease-fire will be rather short. We anticipate that immediately after this the disarming of the illegal military formations will take place.”

He said those separatists who lay down their weapons and haven’t committed grave crimes would be granted amnesty and a corridor to leave the country if they chose to do so.

Putin has welcomed Poroshenko’s peace initiative in an apparent hope that de-escalating tensions with the West would help Russia avoid another round of crippling economic sanctions. Still, embracing the plan would require a delicate balancing act for the Kremlin, which is facing rising demands from Russian nationalists to send troops into Ukraine.

Poroshenko said a cease-fire should follow securing the border with Russia, and Ukrainian officials said Wednesday they were completing the effort. Despite their optimistic statements, sealing the roughly 2,000-kilometer (1,200-mile) border could be a challenging task for the nation’s ill-equipped and badly organized armed forces.

Russia has denied Ukrainian and Western claims that it has fomented the insurgency by sending troops and weapons, insisting that Russian citizens among the rebels are volunteers.

Poroshenko made repeated promises to restore peace before and after winning May’s election, but Wednesday was the first time he said government forces would be the first to halt hostilities, which has been Russia’s main demand.

Denis Pushilin, an insurgent leader in Donetsk, told Russian independent Dozhd television that Poroshenko’s latest offer was “senseless.”

“They cease fire, we lay down weapons, and then they will capture us weaponless,” he said.

Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, speaking in Baku, Azerbaijan, said any cease-fire should be “comprehensive” not temporary. He said if it was followed by negotiations “then it could be the step President Poroshenko has promised and which in general we were all waiting for.”

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew also expressed backing for the plan during a stop in Jerusalem.

“We call on Russia to support President Poroshenko’s peace plan and to cease support for militants and separatists who are further destabilizing the situation and to stop the provision of arms and materiel across the border,” he said.

In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the U.S. commended the Ukrainian government for “good-faith efforts.”

In another move that would help appease Moscow, Poroshenko nominated Pavlo Klimkin, the ambassador to Germany, to replace Andriy Deshchytsia as foreign minister. Lavrov had said he would never speak again to Deshchytsia after he used an especially crude obscenity to describe Putin as he tried to calm protesters who besieged the Russian Embassy in Kiev last weekend.

If Poroshenko’s plan succeeds, it would allow him to consolidate his power and help set the stage for the early parliamentary election he wants.

For Ukraine, an end to hostilities in the east is essential as it tries to shore up its economy, which is teetering on the verge of bankruptcy. It’s also key to mending the rift between the eastern regions, where most residents want close ties with Russia, and the west, where the majority wants a quick integration into Europe.

It would not end Russian pressure on Ukraine. Russia’s state-owned Gazprom has cut off gas supplies in a dispute over prices and debts. Ukraine can manage for a few months on stored supplies, but by fall will need more gas ahead of the winter heating season.

While Russia has insisted that it wasn’t controlling the rebellion, some of its leaders appear to have high-level connections in Moscow. Alexander Borodai, a Moscow political consultant, is now the self-proclaimed prime minister of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic, which has declared independence in eastern Ukraine.

On Tuesday, Borodai attended a meeting with members of the Russian parliament’s upper house, thanking for “a steady flow of volunteers coming from Russia who fight for the interests of people of Donbass.” At the same time, he acknowledged that “part of the Russian establishment does not want Donbass and other regions of Ukraine to join Russia.”

At least 356 people, including 257 civilians, have been killed since May 7 in the fighting and 34,000 have fled their homes, according to the U.N.

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Recent Articles

  • Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • .

    Solano News

    Middle Green Valley plan moves forward

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1, 2 Comments

     
    Veterans ready to serve Thanksgiving dinner

    By Ian Thompson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    New focus on achievement gap of black males

    By Mayrene Bates | From Page: A2

     
    Vacaville art gallery schedules open house

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

    What’s the matter with Kansas Street?

    By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3, 5 Comments | Gallery

     
    Sandbags available in advance of storms

    By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Governments shut doors for holiday

    By Glen Faison | From Page: A4

     
    Fairfield police log: Nov. 25, 2014

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

     
    Suisun police log: Nov. 25, 2014

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

    Weather for Nov. 27, 2014

    By Daily Republic | From Page: B12

     
    .

    US / World

    Passengers in Russia’s Arctic give airliner a push

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Court: No warrant needed to draw parolees’ blood

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

    Armored vehicle nixed by Davis ends up in Woodland

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

     
    Snow makes Thanksgiving travel ‘a little hairy’

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

    Union focuses on security guards at Apple

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

     
    Homeless man beaten to death in San Francisco

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

    Obama administration sets stricter smog standard

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

     
    Obama gets the bill for White House Thanksgiving

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

    Heart stent for Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg, 81

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

     
    American among hostages targeted in Yemen raid

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    Sierra Leone official: Ebola may have reached peak

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Hong Kong police arrest key protesters, clear site

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    Canada police arrest ex-radio host in sex case

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Impoverished Lebanese city is target for IS group

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    Spy balloons give police new view of Jerusalem

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Grand jury documents rife with inconsistencies

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A12, 1 Comment

    Small crowd protests in Oakland for third night

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A12, 1 Comment

     
    Ferguson residents clean up, hope for calm night

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A12, 1 Comment

    Prosecutor faces new criticism over Ferguson case

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

     
    .

    Living

    Today in History: Nov. 27, 2014

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2, 1 Comment

     
    Community Calendar: Nov. 27, 2014

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

    Horoscope for Nov. 27, 2014

    By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

     
    Nursing homes full of opportunities for giving

    By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

    .

    Entertainment

    TVGrid

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Tom Hanks, wife to host Christmas tree lighting

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

    With shake-ups, AC/DC perseveres with album, tour

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

     
    875 hours of holiday programming on TV last year

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

    Missing model-restaurateur B. Smith found in NYC

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

     
    Garth Brooks cites Ferguson for cancellation

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

    University in Tennessee cancels Cosby appearance

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A13, 1 Comment

     
    .

    Sports

    Seahawks, 49ers meet for 1st time this season

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Panda heads put away with Sandoval’s departure

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    All City football: Vikings sweep top honors

    By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    San Francisco’s bid for 2024 Olympics taking shape

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    NFL might not flex any Sunday night games in 2014

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Curry, 3s too much for Magic; Warriors win 111-96

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

    Sharks sign emergency backup goalie

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    Spurs’ Popovich undergoes medical procedure

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

    AP source: Tomas in process of deal with D’backs

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    Harden leads Rockets past Kings 102-89

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

    Smith to start at QB for Jets vs. Dolphins on MNF

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    Butler knocks off No. 5 North Carolina, 74-66

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

    RG3 benched: Redskins to start Colt McCoy vs. Indy

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    Raiders’ Woodson expects to play in 2015

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

    Atletico Madrid, Arsenal reach knockout phase

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

     
    .

    Business

    FBI data show thousands of gun sales beat checks

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

     
    US new home sales up 0.7 percent in October

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

    US agency threatens to act against air bag maker

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

     
    Twitter now tracks other apps you’ve installed

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

    Health insurance sign-ups coming to shopping malls

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

     
    .

    Obituaries

    Esther Ringler

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

     
    Dora Maria Aranda

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

    Adrian Looy

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Dilbert

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    For Better or Worse

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Peanuts

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Zits

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Pickles

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Baby Blues

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Sally Forth

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Baldo

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Get Fuzzy

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Garfield

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Rose is Rose

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Beetle Bailey

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Blondie

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Wizard of Id

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    B.C.

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Frank and Ernest

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Crossword

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

     
    Bridge

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

    Cryptoquote

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

     
    Word Sleuth

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

    Sudoku

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

     
    .

    Holiday Gift Guide 2014

    Why millennials prefer electronic gift cards

    By The Washington Post | From Page: HGG2

    How to give holiday gift cards

    By Metro Creative Graphics | From Page: HGG2

    How to establish gift spending limits

    By Metro Creative Graphics | From Page: HGG3

    Teen gifts: ideas for hard-to-buy-for big kids

    By The Associated Press | From Page: HGG3

    Novice crafter? There’s a project for that!

    By The Associated Press | From Page: HGG6

    Gift ideas for the special seniors in your life

    By Metro Creative Graphics | From Page: HGG6

    Time and money-saving holiday gift ideas

    By Statepoint Media | From Page: HGG7

    Oy vey, holidays! Does Hanukkah wannabe Christmas?

    By The Associated Press | From Page: HGG7

    How to save on high-tech gifts

    By Metro Creative Graphics | From Page: HGG10

    Shop top finalists for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund

    By The Associated Press | From Page: HGG11

    Sharing music: a personal gift made easy by tech

    By The Associated Press | From Page: HGG12

    Great gifts for music lovers

    By Metro Creative Graphics | From Page: HGG13

    Kitchen gift-giving made easy with personality profiles

    By Metro Creative Graphics | From Page: HGG14

    Great gifts for the family foodie

    By Metro Creative Graphics | From Page: HGG14

    Holiday shows abound in Solano County

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: HGG17

    Great gifts for people who love to read

    By Metro Creative Graphics | From Page: HGG19

    An oft-elusive yet gifty treat: coffee table books

    By The Associated Press | From Page: HGG19

    Eco-friendly gift ideas for ‘green’ giving

    By Metro Creative Graphics | From Page: HGG22

    Things to consider before buying this holiday season

    By Metro Creative Graphics | From Page: HGG22

    Steps to take before giving pets as gifts

    By Metro Creative Graphics | From Page: HGG22

    2014 holiday toy predictions

    By Metro Creative Graphics | From Page: HGG22

    Trend-setting gifts for the women on your holiday shopping list

    By Brandpoint Content | From Page: HGG23

    Gifts to keep kids engaged

    By Metro Creative Graphics | From Page: HGG25

    Gift wrap tricks to save time

    By Metro Creative Graphics | From Page: HGG26

    Save time and energy with a family gift this holiday season

    By Brandpoint Content | From Page: HGG27

    Right at Home: gifts you can use – and use up

    By The Associated Press | From Page: HGG30

    How to send gifts to faraway friends and family

    By Metro Creative Graphics | From Page: HGG30

    Gift exchange dos and don’ts

    By Metro Creative Graphics | From Page: HGG30