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July 31st, 2014
05:28 AM ET

Ukraine Declares 1-Day Cease-Fire in MH17 Crash Site Area

Ukraine's military announced a one-day cease-fire on Thursday to allow international experts full access to the site where Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crashed two weeks ago, officials said.

Fighting between the military and pro-Russia rebels in the area of the crash site has repeatedly prevented international monitors and investigators reaching the debris field where human remains and victims' belongings still lie scattered.

World leaders, including U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon have appealed to all parties in the conflict in eastern Ukraine to halt the fighting so that the international teams can do their job.

The statement issued Thursday by Ukraine's Counter-Terrorist Operation's press center said the military would not take offensive action but will "respond to direct attacks."

The statement also accused the rebels of continued violence, including firing Grad rocket systems.

"The Russian militants do not adhere to the international agreements and demands. At 9 a.m. they used two Grad systems to shot in the village of Peremozhne. This demonstrates their attitude towards Ukraine and the international community."

The United States and others say Russia has provided arms to rebels in eastern Ukraine, including heavy weapons such as a missile system like the one believed used to down the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago.

Russia and the rebel fighters deny involvement in the shootdown of MH17.

See more on CNN.com

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