According to the 2015 cease-fire agreement known as Minsk II, combatants must withdraw their heavy weaponry from the lines of contact between Ukrainian forces and militias in the breakaway provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk. Units on both sides that claim to be in adherence with the agreement reportedly hide artillery and other heavy weapons under the auspices of responding to a surprise attack.
It's been a challenging five years since Ukraine's revolution. Petro Poroshenko took over as leader, promising to fight corruption and stand strong after Russia annexed Crimea in 2014. But with a struggling economy and a war against separatists in the east of the country, Poroshenko is facing a battle to hold on to the job. He is one of 39 candidates in the first round of Sunday's presidential election, along with former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. But the frontrunner appears to be Volodymyr Zelensky, a comedian with no experience in politics, except for playing the president in a hit TV show.
President Petro Poroshenko, a 53-year-old billionaire with a chocolate empire, came to power in 2014 after a pro-Western uprising overthrew Ukraine's Russia-backed leader Viktor Yanukovich. Over the last five years, his popularity dropped despite his efforts to be seen as a passionate fighter for Ukraine's territorial unity, as well as the champion of the country's dream of integration with the European Union and NATO. Poroshenko has positioned himself as the only politician able to take on Russia's President Vladimir Putin who led the annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula in 2014. The incumbent has reinforced the Ukrainian army that is battling Moscow-backed rebels in Ukraine's Donetsk and Luhansk regions. The conflict has killed more than 13,000 people, according to the United Nations.