Withdrawal of arms begin in eastern Ukraine

Kiev, Oct 20 (IANS) The Ukrainian army and pro-Russian militia on Tuesday jointly announced the start of the withdrawal of arms from eastern region of Donetsk.

“The withdrawal has begun. It is currently carried out in the area of Debaltseve,” the spokesman of the general staff of the Ukrainian Army, Leonid Matiujin said.

He said the agreement states that the parties to the conflict must keep tanks and light artillery at least 15 km from the region’s frontline.

The withdrawal is being supervised by an observer mission from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

In the neighbouring Luhansk region, the withdrawal of weapons took place last week.

Over 8,000 people, mostly civilians, have died in the eastern regions of Ukraine since April 2014, when the armed conflict broke out, according to UN reports.

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