Skip to main content
Advertising

Originally published July 7, 2014 at 5:38 AM | Page modified July 8, 2014 at 3:29 AM

  • Share:
             
  • Comments
  • Print

Ukraine says rebels must disarm before talks

The Ukrainian government will restart cease-fire negotiations with pro-Russian insurgents in the country's east only once the rebels lay down their weapons, the defense minister said Tuesday


advertising

KIEV, Ukraine —

The Ukrainian government will restart cease-fire negotiations with pro-Russian insurgents in the country's east only once the rebels lay down their weapons, the defense minister said Tuesday

Valery Heletey's statement, posted on the Defense Ministry website, comes amid growing confidence among government forces after they drove the insurgent militia from their stronghold of Slovyansk.

Last week, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko promised cease-fire talks no later than that Saturday, but a series of military successes by the Ukrainian army may have changed minds in Kiev. Instead, on Saturday, Ukrainian troops routed the rebels in Slovyansk, forcing hundreds of militants to regroup in the regional capital, Donetsk -- a rare and significant victory for Ukraine, which has often appeared helpless in the face of the spreading insurgency.

A 10-day cease-fire that ended in late June was punctuated by frequent clashes and provided no progress in reaching a negotiated settlement. More than 400 people have died and thousands have fled their homes after a nearly three-month-long standoff between the rebels and the new authorities in Kiev, who came to power after the ex-president's ouster in February.

Rebels in Ukraine and nationalists in Russia have called for the Kremlin to protect the insurgents, but Russian President Vladimir Putin has so far made no comment on the rebels' defeat in Slovyansk, while state media and other officials have downplayed the loss. Putin may be wary of more sanctions being imposed by the West, which slapped visa bans and financial sanctions on Russia's top officials for their role in annexing the Black Sea region of Crimea in March.



Free 4-week trial, then $99 a year for unlimited seattletimes.com access. Try it now!

News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon

Career Center Blog

Career Center Blog

Looking for joy on the job


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►