February 19, 2015
Russia and separatist rebels have rejected Ukraine's call for UN peacekeepers to monitor the tattered ceasefire, saying it would violate the Minsk accord. They argued the appeal, made late on Wednesday by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, sought to "destroy" the UN-backed truce agreed under European mediation last week in the Belarus capital Minsk. But four days after coming into effect, that truce was already in tatters.
This week, the rebels ignored it to storm a strategic town they had surrounded, Debaltseve, forcing thousands of government troops there to flee. The co-leader of the rebel's self-styled Donetsk republic, Denis Pushilin, flatly told the Interfax news agency that the appeal "is a violation ... of the Minsk agreements".