Wednesday, July 2, 2014

As Ukraine Cease-Fire Expires, Violence Escalates

Violence in Ukraine escalated sharply Tuesday, as artillery shells and airstrikes pierced the relative calm of a 10-day cease-fire, hours after President Petro Poroshenko allowed it to expire. Both sides appeared to be readying for a protracted battle, days after fighting has diminished but has not disappeared. It remained unclear whether the Ukrainian military, which has battled pro-Russian separatists since mid-April, would be able strike a decisive blow against the rebels, who have seized territory in eastern Ukraine. The longer the conflict drags on, the greater the risk of further civilian casualties and the harder it will be for Ukraine’s new government to stitch the society back together. Ukraine’s economy presented a formidable challenge even without a growing insurgency in the country’s industrial heartland.

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