Kiev said on Wednesday it would halt payment of state funds in areas controlled by pro-Moscow rebels, as both sides hardened positions in what is rapidly becoming a “frozen conflict”: a long-term stalemate that the West believes is Russia’s aim.
A day after the rebels held inauguration ceremonies for their leaders, the separatists and the central government each accused each other of violating a September peace deal and signaled they would withdraw support for some of its terms.
The past four days have seen the rebels stage elections for leadership which the government called illegal, and the government respond by saying it would revoke a law that would have granted eastern regions autonomy and sent them cash.
Despite a ceasefire declared two months ago, two teenagers were killed by shelling in Donetsk, one of the two separatist strongholds, on Wednesday as they played football on a school sports field, the city’s administration said.
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