Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko has announced a week-long unilateral ceasefire in fighting with pro-Russian militants in the east of the country.
Heavy fighting had been continuing between Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russia rebels, with new reports of military hardware entering Ukraine.
The ceasefire had been expected ahead of the implementation of a peace plan.
However, correspondents say pro-Russian insurgents seem to have no intention of laying down their arms.
It comes a day after President Petro Poroshenko held his second phone conversation this week with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.
The peace plan proposed by Petro Poroshenko promises to decentralize power and hold early local and parliamentary elections.
It also proposes the creation of a 6 mile buffer zone on the Ukrainian-Russian border, and a safe corridor for pro-Russian separatists to leave the conflict areas.