Armed pro-Russian separatists were still holding public buildings in eastern Ukraine on Friday, saying they needed more assurances about their security before they comply with an international deal ordering them to disarm.
The agreement, brokered by the United States, Russia, Ukraine and the European Union in Geneva on Thursday offered the best hope to date of defusing a stand-off in Ukraine that has dragged East-West relations to their lowest level since the Cold War.
Enacting the agreement on the ground though will be difficult, because of the deep mistrust between the pro-Russian groups and the Western-backed government in Kiev, which this week flared into violent clashes that killed several people.
The fact any deal was reached at all came as a surprise, and it was not immediately clear what had happened behind the scenes to persuade the Kremlin, which had up to that point shown little sign of compromise, to join calls on the militias to disarm.
In Slaviansk, a city that has become a flashpoint in the crisis after men with Kalashnikovs took control last weekend, leaders of the pro-Russian gunmen were holding a meeting early on Friday inside one of the buildings they seized on how to respond to the Geneva agreement.
18 April 2014
There's been a deal cut, but the separatists on the ground don't look like they're moving.
Posted by Brant at 12:23