A cease-fire was declared in eastern Ukraine at a minute after midnight Sunday, kindling slender hopes of a reprieve from a conflict that has claimed more than 5,300 lives. But within two hours of the cease-fire’s scheduled start, the warring sides were already trading
accusations of fresh attacks. International attention will be focused in the coming days on the strategic railway hub of Debaltseve, where Ukrainian government forces have for weeks been fending off severe onslaughts from pro-Russian separatists. The US State Department said images from eastern Ukraine offer “credible pieces of evidence” that the Russian military has deployed larger amounts of artillery and multiple rocket launchers around Debaltseve to shell Ukrainian forces.