Ukraine Offers Cease-Fire, But Are Rebels On Board?

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko says Kiev will consider amnesty for separatists who lay down their arms and haven't committed serious crimes.

Ukraine Offers Cease-Fire, But Are Rebels On Board?
Kyiv Post / Anastasia Vlasova

Ukraine has offered up a cease-fire — pledging to pull back its troops on one condition: Pro-Russia forces must do the same.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko unveiled plans Wednesday for a unilateral cease-fire aimed at easing the unrest that's gripped Eastern Ukraine for months. (Via RT)

The government will consider amnesty for separatists who lay down their weapons and haven't committed serious crimes. Early regional elections and changes to local constitutions are reportedly also on the table. (Via YouTube / EuroMaidanPR

Poroshenko also said he hopes a cease-fire would entice the separatists to get on board with a more permanent peace plan. Question now is, will they go along with it?

Observers seemed skeptical. ABC's correspondent​ Kirit Radia called it a "long shot."

And The Telegraph's Roland Oliphant said: "Easier said than done. Believe it when you see it."

Previous peace agreements, after all, haven't held up. Rebel leaders have vowed repeatedly they won't come to the negotiating table until Ukrainian troops completely withdraw from the country's east. (Via U.S. News & World Report, Euronews, The Daily Beast)

This back-and-forth has been going on for months. Kiev places blame on Russia for stirring the unrest and accuses Moscow of providing fighters with heavy weaponry and allowing them to cross the border — all charges Russia denies. (Via Channel 4)

Poroshenko's announcement comes one day after he spoke by phone with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin. According to the Kremlin, the two leaders discussed ways to halt the bloodshed. (Via Euronews)

Two months ago, Ukraine launched what it called an anti-terrorist operation to root out the insurgency. Ukrainian authorities say a total of 270 people have died in the violence since then. (Via Mashable

Poroshenko has called for a "humanitarian corridor" that would allow civilians caught in the unrest to leave the region safely.