Ukraine Conflict: Front-Line Troops Begin Pullout

ZOLOTE, Ukraine -- Ukrainian government troops and Russian-backed separatists have begun withdrawing from a key front-line area in eastern Ukraine.


Ukrainian troops (pictured) are confronting heavily-armed rebels in the east.

"The separation of forces in Zolote is happening right now," Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko said.

A separatist official quoted by Russia's RIA news agency said both sides had fired coloured signalling rockets to mark both sides' withdrawal.

A deal was agreed this month to end the Donbas region's five-year conflict.

Under the deal, both sides were to start withdrawing from their positions in the towns of Zolote and Petrivske on 9 October.

But there were skirmishes between Ukrainian police and war veterans, who tried to prevent the troop pullout.

On 26 October Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky visited the scene and ordered the war veterans to disarm.

Mr Prystaiko said shooting in Zolote stopped on 17 October and the withdrawal began on Tuesday once OSCE international monitors were there to check compliance by both sides.

Ukraine's military high command confirmed that the withdrawal had begun at 12:00 local time (10:00 GMT).

Source: BBC News

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