Briefly about the most important today's events in our digest of events
that have happened in Ukraine today
Poroshenko to Putin: "Please, withdraw your troops from my territory"
During a visit to Australia on Thursday, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko pleaded with Russia to withdraw its troops from his country and close to the Ukraine-Russia border.
"Please withdraw your troops from my territory. Please close the border. And I promise if you close the border, within one, two, three weeks, we have peace and stability in Ukraine. Very simple," Poroshenko said in a joint press conference with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
Poroshenko stressed that Ukraine is engaged in the war not just seeking for its independence and territorial integrity, but for freedom, democracy and peace as well.
He said that the whole civilized world, European Union, Australia, Canada, USA and Japan stand together with Ukraine.
ATO Headquarters: 22 violations of the ceasefire agreement by rebels within the past 24 hours with no response from ATO forces
Donbas militants violated the truce agreement 22 times in the past 24 hours, the ATO press centre informs on Facebook.
“They used mortars, small arms, antiaircraft systems and tanks. Gunmen were most active in the Luhansk, Donetsk and Debaltseve directions. Our soldiers were shelled several times near Mariupol and Pervomaysk.
According to the ATO Headquarters, the following settlements suffered most from shelling:
In the Lugansk direction - Frunze, Schastya, Krymske, Sokolnyky, Kryakivka, Zhovte and Kapitanove.
In the Donetsk direction - Avdiyivka, as well as the settlements of Ridkodub, Kamianka, Maloorlivka and Chornukhine.
In the Mariupol direction - the settlement of Chermalyk.
In addition, terrorists attacked four times the Donetsk airport.
The Headquarters stressed that ATO artillery did not open fire in response.
Arseniy Yatsenyuk to Putin: We can guarantee pension payments in Donbas once you have taken away your thugs
The Ukrainian Government would resume paying off pensions in the ATO area after the Russian gunmen have left, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk told the Verkhovna Rada when presenting the Government's Programme.
"Mr Putin, you hold the Donbas population hostage. Live up to the Minsk protocol, take away bandits, stop supplying weapons - Ukraine will re-establish control over its territories and pay off all social benefits," he said.
Yatsenyuk added that Ukraine would currently be simply unable to deliver any funds to these areas.
As you may know, the government has suspended all social payments in rebel-held territories.
General Staff: 40 Russian KAMAZ trucks carrying weapons and 2 others transporting terrorists cross into Ukraine
40 Russian KAMAZ trucks carrying ammunition and 2 others transporting terrorists crossed the Ukrainian border from the Russian side on Thursday, a representative of the General Staff of the Armed Forces, Olexander Razmaznin, told journalists, as reported by Ukrainian News.
"40 KAMAZ trucks have entered into Ukraine today carrying ammunition for artillery systems. 2 other trucks have brought over personnel," he said.
According to Razmaznin, the General Staff is verifying information concerning who precisely crossed the border in those 2 trucks.
Commanders of the General Staff assume it could be either mercenaries, or Russian military.
Militants announce a withdrawal of heavy armaments
One of the rebel leaders, Denis Pushilin, said insurgents had started withdrawing heavy artillery from the conflict zone, "RIA Novosti" reports.
According to the agency, he meant artillery with a bore exceeding 100 mm.
NATIONAL SECURITY AND DEFENSE Council: rebels' statements are simply lies
National Security Council of Ukraine has disproved the statements made by militants concerning a withdrawal of heavy artillery, a spokesman for Ukrainian National Security and Defence Council, Andriy Lysenko, reported at a briefing on Thursday.
He reiterated that rebels had carried out 22 attacks on Ukrainian army positions in the past 24 hours.
"This means that the first article of the Minsk agreement concerning ceasing fire has not been observed. So, the statements about a withdrawal of 100-bore artillery are lies; those are provocative announcements that rebels are trying to use in order to misguide the West," Lysenko said.
"If there are any artillery movements at all, it would be only changing positions to be able to open fire again," Lysenko said.
As you may know, one of the rebel leaders, Denis Pushilin announced earlier that insurgents had started withdrawing heavy artillery from the conflict zone.
3 servicemen killed and 8 others wounded in the past 24 hours in Ukraine
3 Ukrainian fighters were killed, and 8 others wounded in the past 24 hours, a spokesman for the Ukrainian National Security and Defence Council, Andriy Lysenko, said at a briefing.
"We lost 3 fighters, and 8 others were wounded in the past 24 hours," Lysenko said.
According to the colonel, Ukrainian military detected some rebel commandos while patrolling the area on Wednesday. Fighting broke out.
"Our soldiers managed to neutralize this group. But, we also sustained losses", Lysenko said.