From Ukraine's President, A Promise Of Truce — With Conditions
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
From NPR News this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel. Ukraine's new president says he will order a unilateral cease-fire in the East of his country. That's where government troops have been fighting pro-Russian separatists. The announcement today came after Petro Poroshenko discussed the crisis with Russian President Vladimir Putin. NPR's Corey Flintoff has this update from the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk.
COREY FLINTOFF, BYLINE: Poroshenko didn't say when he would declare the cease-fire but that it should come as soon as Ukraine's military has secured the country's long border with Russia. Ukraine's defense minister said the truce could be implemented within days. Ukrainian troops are said to be gaining control over a bigger stretch of the border, where Ukraine says the separatists have been moving fighters, weapons and supplies from Russia. The cease-fire would be a short-term move, Poroshenko said, to allow separatist militia groups to lay down their arms. The Ukrainian leader said he would grant amnesty to separatists who disarm and who haven't committed what he called grave crimes. So far the insurgents have reacted to the proposal with scorn. Donetsk's separatist leader, Denis Pushilin, called the offer senseless. He told Russian television that it was nothing but a ploy to get the rebels to disarm so they could be captured. For now, at least, the fighting continues. Government forces said they had killed or wounded more than 30 rebel fighters near the city of Luhansk. Terrorism has also become a concern. The government announced that an explosion on a pipeline that carries Russian gas to Europe was caused by a bomb. Corey Flintoff, NPR News, Donetsk.