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Ukrainian soldiers call for lifting of ceasefire


KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Several hundred Ukrainian soldiers and activists have gathered outside the presidential administration in Kiev to call for an end to the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine.

After the weeklong ceasefire expired Friday, President Petro Poroshenko agreed to extend it through Monday in an effort to stop the fighting between government troops and Moscow-backed separatists that has left hundreds dead.

The European Union also set a Monday deadline for Russia and the separatists to take a series of steps to ease the violence. If this is not done, the EU warned that it is ready to impose new sanctions on Russia.

Soldiers from the Donbass battalion appealed to Poroshenko on Sunday to allow them to resume fighting once the ceasefire expires.

Both sides have been accused of violating the ceasefire.