A Ukrainian soldier walks in front of a bridge that was destroyed by shelling during the battle for Slovyansk in summer 2014, in Seleznivka village, near Slovyansk, eastern Ukraine, Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016. (Michael Rothbart/Photo via AP)
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Foreign ministers from Germany, France and Ukraine visited eastern Ukraine Thursday, hours after Russian-backed separatists and Ukrainian forces agreed to a cease-fire in a conflict that has killed over 9,600 since spring 2014 .Steinmeier and French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault told reporters late Wednesday the truce could provide new momentum in the implementation of the much-violated Minsk peace agreement signed 18 months ago.The foreign ministers were briefed on the situation by international monitors from the 57-member Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which is currently headed by Germany. The OSCE has 704 monitors in Ukraine from 45 countries, including 583 in eastern Ukraine, according to the German Foreign Ministry.OSCE officials showed the ministers their mine-hunting equipment and discussed their daily work at a large site in Kramatorsk, which is home to one of five OSCE hubs in eastern Ukraine.
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