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Ukraine ends cease-fire with rebels
UKRAINE (CNN) -- Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said early Tuesday that his country will not renew a cease-fire with pro-Russian separatists, vowing instead "we will advance, and we will liberate our land."
The fragile cease-fire expired at midnight Monday -- hours after Poroshenko spoke by phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande.
The cease-fire -- agreed upon earlier this month amid a volatile political crisis -- raised hopes that Ukraine could be moving back from the brink of full-fledged civil war.
Poroshenko gave no indication of what the government's next move might be now that the truce is over.
In Kiev's Maidan Square, activists outside the presidential administration building applauded Poroshenko's stance.
"We need only military actions," a priest named Valentyn said in a Reuters' interview. "We were forced by those who entered our country as enemies and invaders."
The crisis has its roots in former President Viktor Yanukovych's decision to shun a European Union Association Agreement last year and work with Russia instead. The move unleashed deadly strife that led to Yanukovych's ouster, Ukraine's loss of Crimea and a pro-Russia separatist rebellion.
Russia and Ukraine have been engaged in a tense standoff since the Russian annexation of Crimea in March, when Russia also massed troops along its western border with Ukraine.
After Monday's phone call, Poroshenko said his goal was peace, but said it takes the participation of all parties to maintain stability, noting violations of the cease-fire by pro-Russian separatists.
Activist Vadym told Reuters there's no point in continuing the cease-fire.
"There is definitely no need for an extension of the truce," he said. "Because a lot of our boys died during this truce."
Fellow activist Yulia agreed.
"Bloody military actions are better than such bloody truce," she said. "We must put an end to it once and that's all."
A statement from Putin's press office about the call said the Russian President "stressed the need to extend the cease-fire and also establish a reliable mechanism for monitoring" it.
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