(Some) quiet on the eastern front as Ukraine’s cease-fire goes into effect

The cannonade ceased and guns fell suddenly silent across eastern Ukraine at midnight Saturday as a cease-fire between government forces and pro-Russian rebels took effect.

As of Sunday afternoon, the truce held in much of the country, but rebels had already launched new attacks against the town of Debaltseve, which sits astride a strategically important railroad junction.

In a televised address, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko gave government forces the cease-fire order one minute after midnight, allowing civilians in beleaguered areas to resume daily life, and offering forces on both sides of the conflict time to resupply in preparation for a possible resumption of hostilities.

A woman walks by a building that was damaged by shelling last September, Donetsk, February 15, 2015. Photo by Baz Ratner/Reuters

A woman walks by a building that was damaged by shelling last September, Donetsk, February 15, 2015. Photo by Baz Ratner/Reuters

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko takes part in a wreath laying ceremony near a Kiev monument to servicemen killed during the Soviet military campaign in Afghanistan, February 15, 2015. Photo by Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Reuters

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko takes part in a wreath laying ceremony near a Kiev monument to servicemen killed during the Soviet military campaign in Afghanistan, February 15, 2015. Photo by Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Reuters

Locals shop at a market in Donetsk, February 15, 2015. Photo by Baz Ratner/Reuters

Locals shop at a market in Donetsk, February 15, 2015. Photo by Baz Ratner/Reuters

A member of the Ukrainian armed forces poses near Debaltseve, eastern Ukraine February 15, 2015. Photo by Gleb Garanich/Reuters

A member of the Ukrainian armed forces poses near Debaltseve, eastern Ukraine February 15, 2015. Photo by Gleb Garanich/Reuters

A man fishes through an ice hole on a frozen river in Donetsk, Ukraine, February 15, 2015.  Photo by Baz Ratner/Reuters

A man fishes through an ice hole on a frozen river in Donetsk, Ukraine, February 15, 2015. Photo by Baz Ratner/Reuters

A man ice fishing on a frozen river in Donetsk, February 15, 2015. Photo by Baz Ratner/Reuters

A man ice fishing on a frozen river in Donetsk, February 15, 2015. Photo by Baz Ratner/Reuters

A local resident reacts near her home after shelling in recent days in Svitlodarsk, eastern Ukraine, February 15, 2015. Photo by Gleb Garanich/Reuters

A local resident reacts near her home after shelling in recent days in Svitlodarsk, eastern Ukraine, February 15, 2015. Photo by Gleb Garanich/Reuters

A member of the armed forces of the separatist self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic checks on a kettle at a checkpoint near Donetsk, February 15, 2015. Photo by Baz Ratner/Reuters

A member of the armed forces of the separatist self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic checks on a kettle at a checkpoint near Donetsk, February 15, 2015. Photo by Baz Ratner/Reuters

A local resident walks on the road in a park in Svitlodarsk, eastern Ukraine, February 15, 2015. Photo by Gleb Garanich/Reuters

A local resident walks on the road in a park in Svitlodarsk, eastern Ukraine, February 15, 2015. Photo by Gleb Garanich/Reuters

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