Ukraine army, rebels pull back troops

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KIEV: Ukraine’s army and pro-Russian separatists both announced Saturday the pull back of their troops from a small eastern city as agreed in a demilitarization accord signed last month.

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Ukrainian military spokesman Valentyn Shevchenko told AFP that both sides had moved their forces to several kilometers away from Zolote.

“Some representatives of the OSCE observer mission confirmed the retreat,” he said, referring to the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

The official press agency of the separatists in eastern Ukraine also announced the retreat of their troops from Zolote.

Negotiators for Kiev and the pro-Moscow rebels reached an agreement in Minsk in September to demilitarize three frontline areas in eastern Ukraine, withdrawing heavy arms and fighters from the towns of Stanytsya Luganska as well as Zolote in the Lugansk region and Petrovske in the Donetsk region.

The retreat of troops has not yet taken place in the other two cities, according to the separatists.

The conflict erupted after Moscow annexed Crimea from Ukraine in March 2014.

AFP

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