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Poroshenko says east Ukraine ‘radically changed’ since truce

Picture released on September 8, 2014 by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office shows Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko presenting military awards in the gounds of Mariupol airport/AFP

Picture released on September 8, 2014 by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office shows Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko presenting military awards in the gounds of Mariupol airport/AFP

KIEV, September 10- Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said on Wednesday that the situation in the war torn east had changed dramatically since a truce was signed last week.

But he again vowed that the separatist eastern regions, where the rebels have declared their own republics, would remain part of Ukraine, saying there was a “war for the independence and integrity” of the country.

“Ukraine will not make any concessions on issues of its territorial integrity,” he told a cabinet meeting.

However, a rebel leader insisted that the separatists still intended to break away from Kiev’s rule.

“We are not considering remaining part of Ukraine,” Andrei Purgin, the deputy prime minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, told AFP in Moscow.

Poroshenko acknowledged that implementing the ceasefire signed in the Belarussian capital Minsk on Friday had been “difficult”, with what he described as repeated attempts by rebels to provoke Ukrainian troops to fire.

But he added: “The situation has radically changed at the front.

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