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Reaction To Ukraine Cease-Fire Is Muted

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The fighting in Ukraine is set to end this Sunday when a cease-fire goes into effect. But today, people in the thick of the conflict along Ukraine's eastern border are still dying. We reached two women in Ukraine soon after the cease-fire was announced, and neither expects it to last long.

KATERINA MALAFEEVA: One to three days, maximum.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

That's Katerina Malafeeva (ph), who lives in the city of Donetsk and assists journalists there. She has seen shelling destroy houses as well as lives.

MALAFEEVA: Many children live in the basement, in bombproof shelters. They don't go to school.

GREENE: Malafeeva says, everyone wants to believe in peace, but because an earlier truce failed, they're not exactly optimistic.

MALAFEEVA: We got used to shelling. We go to the bed with shelling. We hear it during night, and we wake up, also, hearing shelling. For me, I think it will be weird if it will be quiet in the city.

MONTAGNE: In Ukraine's capital, Kiev, Yule Kubanova (ph), a businesswoman, is watching events back home in Donetsk. She left for a vacation last fall and has not been able to return there because of the fighting.

YULE KUBANOVA: The day my mom called me and said that while you were sleeping, again, Donetsk was under the shellings. Despite I'm living in Kiev, all my thoughts about Donetsk.

MONTAGNE: Kubanova says, after the peace agreement, I want to hope, but I don't, really.

GREENE: In fact, things are so bad back home in Donetsk, she sees a silver lining being stuck in Kiev, away from her loved ones.

KUBANOVA: If my relatives need, you know - they also will be forced from how to, I don't know, escape - to flee from Donetsk, at least we have a (laughter) - I have a place here in Kiev just as a shelter for them.

MONTAGNE: Two reactions from Ukraine to the cease-fire agreed to in Minsk, Belarus, yesterday. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

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