A full ceasefire comes into effect in eastern Ukraine

The presidential office in Kiev announced that a "complete and all-encompassing ceasefire" has come into effect in the eastern Ukraine’s conflict zone as of 12 am on Monday (2200 GMT Sunday). The ceasefire in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, where pro-Russian separatists have been fighting the Ukrainian army for more than six years, comes after at least two dozen attempts of complete ceasefire failed, news wires reported.

In the leadup to the ceasefire, Russian President Vladimir Putin held a phone call with Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday to discuss a potential solution to the conflict, both governments said. Both sides used the call to praise the additional efforts to end the fighting, both the Kremlin and Zelensky's office said in statements.

Putin urged Zelensky to commit to existing peace agreements not only with words, but also with actions, the Kremlin said. Putin raised concerns about recent statements in Ukraine that part of the peace plan would be renegotiated and said Ukraine's decision to hold regional elections later this year contradicts the previous Minsk peace agreements, the statement added. Kiev is planning to hold regional elections this October across the country, but not in the breakaway regions of Donetsk and Luhansk. Putin reiterated the need to implement the agreements of the last Ukraine summit on 9 December in Paris, the statement noted.

Some 13,000 people have been killed in the conflict, according to estimates from the United Nations. Russia has repeatedly denied allegations of direct involvement. The latest ceasefire is considered an important prerequisite for a new Ukrainian crisis summit.

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