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Ukrainian president extends ceasefire in Southeast by 72 hours

Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko has decided to extend by 72 hours the ceasefire in Ukraine's embattled Southeast, the presidential press service said in a statement Saturday.

"Guided by the decision of the National Security and Defense Council, the head of state has extended the regime of non-use of force until 22:00 (19:00 UTC) Monday, June 30," the statement said.

"In case the terms of the non-use of force are violated, Ukraine reserves the right to terminate the regime ahead of schedule in areas where the ceasefire regime is not implemented," it said.

The statement noted that "building fortifications or structures hindering the peaceful life of Donbass (the way Eastern Ukraine is typically referred to in Ukraine and Russia) residents will be considered violation of the ceasefire regime."

Kiev's military operation against federalization supporters in Ukraine's Southeast involving armored vehicles, heavy artillery and attack aviation has killed hundreds of people, including civilians, left buildings destroyed and damaged and forced tens of thousands to cross the border from Ukraine to Russia.

The Donetsk and Lugansk regions, which border on Russia, held referendums on May 11, in which most voters supported independence from Ukraine. South Ossetia has recognized the regions' independence. No other countries have followed suit so far.

[Source: Itar Tass, Kiev, 28Jun14]

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