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Ukraine peace hopes dashed as truce ends

Tuesday, July 01, 2014 - 02:13

Hopes for a settlement to the Ukraine crisis suffer another setback as a ceasefire ends - while a new round of hostile rhetoric begins. David Pollard reports

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A truce ends - within hours, military action resumes. As does the heated rhetoric. In his latest comments, the Russian president said Ukraine had shunned the road to peace. SOUNDBITE (Russian) RUSSIAN PRESIDENT, VLADIMIR PUTIN, SAYING: "I want everybody to understand that our country will continue to energetically protect the rights of ethnic Russians, our compatriots abroad using all means at our disposal - from political and economic to the right of self-defence." Earlier, there was confirmation that Ukraine's military was moving again against separatists in the east, from Ukraine's parliamentary speaker. SOUNDBITE (Ukrainian) UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT SPEAKER OLEXANDER TURCHINOV, SAYING: "This morning an active phase of the anti-terrorist operation has been renewed. (APPLAUSE) Our armed forces are launching strikes against the terrorists' bases." President Poroshenko told Ukraine he had dropped the ceasefire to free it from ''terrorists and marauders''. A four-way phone call with Vladimir Putin, French and German leaders failed to persuade him to extend the truce. Ukraine says 27 of its servicemen have been killed since the ceasefire began on June 20. And Poroshenko's facing growing pressure at home for more action. In the event, it came as little suprise, according to Michael Hewson of CMC Markets. SOUNDBITE (English) Michael Hewson, Chief Market Analyst, CMC Markets, saying: ''Was the ceasefire ever on? You know, I mean, that's the biggest question - there've been so many breaches over the past few weeks I think the fact that Mr Poroshenko has called off the ceasefire doesn't change an awful lot.'' It may, though, increase the threat of sanctions against Russia. EU leaders said on Friday they were ready to adopt more punitive measures, possibly targeting new people and companies with asset freezes as early as next week. SOUNDBITE (English) Michael Hewson, Chief Market Analyst, CMC Markets, saying: ''I think, going forward, I think sanctions are very very likely simply because I think there's a perception on the behalf of EU and US leaders that Russia isn't doing enough to rein in the separatists, and I think unless that dynamic changes this crisis is going to continue to rumble on the in the background for quite some time to come.'' Slaviansk is one town where sporadic fighting continued during the truce. Further north, in Kharkiv, Ukrainian forces say they foiled a separatist plot to blow up the local railway. Confirmation, if needed, that Ukraine's truce - and hopes for peace - were shaky at best.

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Ukraine peace hopes dashed as truce ends

Tuesday, July 01, 2014 - 02:13