Speed Reads

Crisis in Ukraine

Ukraine's president talks with Russia's Putin, declares unilateral cease-fire

Late Tuesday, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke by phone and, according to both sides, discussed Ukraine possibly offering a cease-fire in southeastern Ukraine. On Wednesday morning, Poroshenko publicly outlined a 14-point plan that, he said, "will start with my order for a unilateral cease-fire." Other parts of the plan included securing the porous border between Russia and Ukraine and offering an amnesty for pro-Moscow separatist fighters who lay down their own weapons.

A spokeswoman for the separatist Donetsk People's Republic, Claudia Kulbatskaya, wasn't impressed. Poroshenko "talks about a cease-fire every day," she tells The New York Times. "And then the next day they start bombing even more heavily." At least 356 people have been killed in the fighting in eastern Ukraine since mid-April, the United Nations said Wednesday. The dead include 257 civilians and 86 Ukrainian military personnel.