Continuing attacks from rebels are delaying Ukrainian forces’ pullback of heavy weapons from the front line in the country’s east, a Ukrainian military spokesman said today.
Under a peace agreement reached on February 12, both sides are to withdraw their heavy weapons anywhere from 15.5 miles to 43.5 miles (25km to 70km) to create a buffer zone. Ukrainian officials said yesterday that they were planning to begin.
However, Lieutenant Colonel Anatoliy Stelmakh told reporters today that the moves will not begin until rebel attacks stop altogether, in line with a ceasefire that was called into effect on February 15.
Lt Col Stelmakh said there were two artillery attacks overnight and, although this is significantly fewer than in previous days, “as long as firing on Ukrainian military positions continues, it’s not possible to talk about a pullback”.