Thousands of Ukrainians in cars stuffed with belongings lined up on Thursday at the eastern border to cross into Russia, with some saying they felt betrayed by their government and vowing never to return.
A commander at the rebel-controlled border post southeast of the city of Luhansk said 5,000 people had left by evening, joining a stream he said has continued unabated through a shaky cease-fire set to expire tomorrow.
Tens of thousands of Ukrainians have sought safety in Russia since the fighting began two months ago between government troops and Moscow-backed separatist fighters.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Thursday called on Russia to support his peace plan “with deeds, not words” as the weeklong cease-fire neared its end in Russian-speaking eastern Ukraine.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and US Secretary of State John Kerry said they too were looking for more action.