Ukraine truce takes hold but US accuses Russia of land grabs

A Ukrainian serviceman pets a dog at a checkpoint near Slavyanoserbsk, in the region of Lugansk on February 25, 2015A UN-backed ceasefire showed signs of finally taking hold in Ukraine, even as the United States accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of destabilising the country through land grabs. Wednesday was the first day since the truce took effect 10 days ago that no deaths were reported on the front, but the relative peace was met by fresh diplomatic sparring between Washington and Moscow. Addressing US lawmakers, Secretary of State John Kerry said Russia and pro-Moscow rebels had failed to meet the terms of the ceasefire. “To date, neither Russia nor the forces it is supporting have come close to complying with their commitments,” he said, renewing warnings that Moscow would face further sanctions.

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