Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said he is halting a unilateral cease-fire in the conflict with pro-Russian separatists and says Ukrainian forces will go on the offensive against the rebels. A statement from Poroshenko on his website said the cease-fire is being halted and that "we will attack and we will free our country." The fragile cease-fire expired today. The idea was to give rebels a chance to disarm and to start a broader peace process including an amnesty and new elections.
But rebels did not disarm, and the ceasefire was continually violated. Rebels did not comply with Poroshenko's latest push to get them to turn over key border crossings with Russia and permit international monitoring of the cease-fire. "The unique chance to put the peace plan into practice was not realized," Poroshenko said in a speech prepared for delivery to the nation. "This happened because of the criminal actions of the fighters." The recently elected Poroshenko had already extended the cease-fire from seven days as part of a plan to end the fighting that has killed more than 400 people since April. Click for more. (Read more Ukraine stories.)