Thousands Flee Ukraine as Cease-Fire Expires

Some leaving for Russia vow never to return
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 27, 2014 12:04 AM CDT
Thousands Flee Ukraine as Cease-Fire Expires
People carry their belongings as they walk to cross the border into Russia at the Ukrainian-Russian border checkpoint in Izvaryne, Luhansk region, eastern Ukraine.   (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

As a shaky cease-fire in the east entered its final hours last night, thousands of Ukrainians in cars stuffed with belongings lined up at the border to cross into Russia, some vowing never to return. Many said they were most frightened for their children and desperate to take them to safety. A commander at the rebel-controlled border post outside the city of Luhansk said 5,000 people had left by evening, joining a stream that he said has continued unabated during the weeklong truce that has failed to end the gunfire and shelling.

With the cease-fire set to expire on Friday, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called on Russia to support his peace plan "with deeds, not words." He urged Moscow to stop the flow of fighters from Russia. John Kerry warned yesterday that Russia had to show within hours that it was moving to disarm pro-Russia separatists. Russian President Vladimir Putin has urged Poroshenko to extend the truce and hold talks with the separatists in the eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions. (More Luhansk stories.)

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