Donetsk Begins Withdrawal of Heavy Artillery - Militia Deputy Commander
09:42 24.02.2015(updated 10:23 24.02.2015)
According to Donetsk deputy militia commander Eduard Basurin, DNR began the withdrawal of heavy artillery from the front line at 06:00 GMT.
DONETSK (Sputnik) – The eastern Ukrainian self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic began the withdrawal of heavy artillery from the front line on Tuesday morning, deputy commander of the DNR's militia Eduard Basurin said.
'At 9:00 a.m. [06:00 GMT],' Basurin said in response to when the republic had begun the withdrawal of heavy artillery.
According to Basurin, nearly 100 pieces of heavy artillery will be pulled back from the front lines.
'Today, we plan [to withdraw] 96 units,' Basurin said.
According to Basurin, the withdrawal plan is intended to be carried out over a two-week period, 'starting from February, 22 as stipulated by the Minsk protocol.'
Basurin found it difficult to say whether the Ukrainian side has also begun withdrawing heavy weaponry. 'We should ask the OSCE about it,' he said.
Both sides must withdraw their heavy artillery 50-140 kilometers (30-85 miles) from the line of contact under the Minsk agreement reached earlier in February. The deal was agreed upon by the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France.
The conflicting sides were supposed to complete the process within 14 days of the ceasefire commencing.
The truce in Donbas came into force on February 15, but since then both Kiev and the Donbas militias have accused each other of violating it.
On Monday, Kiev military spokesman Anatoly Stelmakh said that the Kiev forces will only start pulling back their heavy artillery after the ceasefire is fully implemented.
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