Fighting heated up today (Friday) in the eastern Ukraine just hours before a meeting was scheduled to take place in efforts to achieve a ceasefire. Witnesses could hear explosions and gunfire on the outskirts of the port city of Mariupol, in continuation of the fighting that was reported there late yesterday, as reported by the Voice of America.
Ukrainian President Prorshenko and a senior official from the separatists have said they are ready to put an end to the five months of fighting if a deal can be signed today.
On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin unveiled a 7-point "action plan" to terminate the separatist rebellion. The deal, as Putin put it, calls for a halt to "active offensive operations" by both Ukrainian troops and separatists.