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Tensions run high along ceasefire line in eastern Ukraine

Sunday, March 08, 2015 - 01:26

As a shaky truce holds, the atmosphere remains tense along the ceasefire line in eastern Ukraine. Vanessa Johnston reports.

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The guns are silent in the rebel-controlled village of Molochnoye in eastern Ukraine... ...but the atmosphere is tense. A shaky ceasefire holds with Ukrainian troops...some of whom sit just four kilometers away. Both sides regularly accuse each other of continued violence. But the local rebel commander insists his side has complied with the Minsk peace deal -- and withdrawn its heavy weapons. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) CAPTAIN OF REBEL ARTILLERY UNIT, VYACHESLAV, SAYING: "For now we keep up defense with just machine-guns, nothing else so far. Sometimes if somebody over there behaves too boldly - then we can reply with a grenade launcher..." The few remaining residents here are skeptical that the ceasefire will last. Arman and his son still prefer to sleep in a cellar. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) MOLOCHNOYE RESIDENT, ARMAN, SAYING: "When the ceasefire started we were so happy. And then a shot was fired and this whole thing started again.... and now no one believes in the ceasefire." Last year, separatists took up arms in Ukraine's eastern industrial heartland... A response to the overthrow of Moscow-backed president Victor Yanukovich in Kiev. So far, some 6,000 people have been killed in the fighting.

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Tensions run high along ceasefire line in eastern Ukraine

Sunday, March 08, 2015 - 01:26