Good morning. Still a fair deal of confusion over the latest cease-fire deal. Here's the latest from our news desk:
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has announced a new initiative to bring a halt to fighting in eastern Ukraine.
In a statement issued on his website on December 4, Poroshenko said Ukraine's military will halt fire beginning on December 9 in eastern Ukraine, on a "Day of Silence."
Poroshenko said the measure was included in a broader cease-fire deal signed in Minsk on September 5.
Russian news agency RIA Novosti quoted pro-Russian separatist leaders in Ukraine's Donetsk and Luhansk regions as confirming such a measure was included in the Minsk agreement, but it was unclear whether they would abide by it.
The September 5 truce has been regularly violated, and more than 1,000 people have been killed since.
Earlier this week, a cease-fire for Donetsk airport broke down hours after being implemented.
For earlier entries in our Ukraine crisis live blog, click here.
Meanwhile in Kazakhstan... Nazarbaev the peacemaker
Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev has told the French president that sanctions are having little effect on Russia and European countries should seek compromise with Moscow over the crisis in Ukraine.
At a joint news conference after talks with Francois Hollande in Astana, the Kazakh capital, Nazarbaev said the parties must find common ground "to resolve this crisis."
He said the confrontation over Ukraine "has not helped anyone, but has had a negative impact on the international political situation and the economy of Europe, Asia and the world as a whole."
Nazarbaev said that "putting each other into a corner with sanctions does not give results" and that the impact of Western sanctions on Russia has been limited because Russia is "not very strongly integrated" into the world economy.
Investigative journalist Oleksiy Matsuka: Reforms in Ukraine are very needed, regardless of the conflict. First of all, we need reforms against the corruption of government and the influence of big corporations and oligarchs. And the best possible methods of the reforms must be discussed by society. Unfortunately, there is no dialogue between the government and the people, and the decisions are still being made in the same way as in Yanukovych’s time. It’s a big problem, because there have been no changes in the democratic process so far.