Speed Reads

foreign affairs

Skirmishes test Ukraine ceasefire as Russia sends unapproved convoy across border

Just a week into the ceasefire between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian militants, the agreement is already being tested, with near-constant rocket and artillery fire on Friday night, The Associated Press reports.

The country's military said it defeated an attempt by rebels to take control of the Donetsk airport, in eastern Ukraine, and city officials said no civilian casualties had been reported. However, a Ukrainian official did say that government forces have killed 12 rebel fighters since the ceasefire began; six servicemen have reportedly died in the past week, as well.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called the ceasefire a "fragile but efficient peace process," on Friday, but that may be tested, as Moscow sent a convoy across the Ukrainian border today, carrying what Russia says is humanitarian aid. However, neither Kiev officials nor the international Red Cross inspected or approved the convoy, echoing an August operation when Russia also sent an unapproved convoy into eastern Ukraine.

While not specifically referencing the convoy, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk denounced Russia's actions in the country in recent months, saying President Vladimir Putin "wants to restore the Soviet Union," and "take the entire Ukraine."