Official Ceasefire Agreement for Ukraine

September 5, 2014

An official ceasefire for Ukraine was signed today following a meeting of officials in Minsk, Belarus. 

Ukrainian Prime Minister Alexander Zakharchenko, former president and current representative of the "People Republic of Donetsk" Leonid Kuchma, rebel leader of the "People Republic of Lugansk" Igor Plotnitsky, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) envoy Heidi Tagliavini, and Russian Ambassador to Ukraine Mikhail Zurabov participated in the signing of the twelve-point agreement guaranteeing ceasefire. 

The ceasefire is the chief point in the twelve-point agreement. The other eleven points have not yet been clarified but are thought to include an exchange of prisoners. 

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, who was in Wales for the NATO summit at the time of the signing, has ordered Ukraine's army to halt military action: "I give the order to the Chief of General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces to cease fire, starting from 18:00 [local time] on September 5."

He also called on the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry and the OSCE to provide international monitoring to ensure full compliance with the ceasefire among all parties. 

"Most of the points of the protocol correspond with our demands," Lugansk leader Igor Plotnitsky said in a statement to clarify that Lugansk is still seeking independence, "However, the ceasefire does not mean a shift from our course of breaking away from Ukraine. This is a compulsory measure."

Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesperson Dmity Peskove has issued a statement in support of the ceasefire: "Moscow hopes that all provisions of the document and agreements reached will be carefully executed by the parties as well as the continuation of the negotiation process for full settlement of the crisis in Ukraine." 

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) issued a report on August 17 that conservatively estimated the number of casualties since fighting broke out in mid-April be at least 2,200, though that number is thought to be much higher and does not include the 298 killed in the July 17 crash of Malaysian Airlines flight MH-17. 

There have been at least 5,956 wounded in the conflict, though this number is also thought to be underreported as insecurity has prevented many from seeking medical aid. 


Photo courtesy of the European External Action Service