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    Military trucks from the Ukrainian armed forces transport tanks on the road near Artemivsk, eastern Ukraine, February 24, 2015

    Still No Order From Kiev to Withdraw Heavy Troops – Ukrainian Military

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    After Minsk: Will Peace Come to Ukraine? (1049)
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    According to a Kiev military spokesman, Ukrainian security officials are going to hold positions until they are ordered to pull heavy weaponry away from the line of contact in Ukraine’s east.

    KIEV (Sputnik) — Ukrainian security officials say they have not received an order to withdraw heavy artillery from the line of contact in Ukraine’s east, a Kiev military spokesman said Thursday.

    "We are going to hold positions, so, we are waiting for a decision on the withdrawal of heavy weaponry," Anatoliy Stelmakh said at a press briefing.

    According to earlier media reports, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is expected to order Ukrainian troops to begin the pullout of heavy weapons on Thursday, in line with the latest Minsk agreement.

    On February 12, 2015, the leaders of Ukraine, Germany, Russia, and France worked out a reconciliation deal including 13 points aimed at ending the military confrontation between Kiev forces and independence supporters in eastern Ukraine. The deal included an unconditional ceasefire which was set to come into force at midnight on February 15, a requirement that Kiev undertake constitutional reform with a focus on Ukraine’s decentralization, as well as a mandate that all foreign armed groups, equipment and mercenaries withdraw from eastern Ukraine under the observation of the OSCE.

    Earlier this week, the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic said it had begun the withdrawal and was set to move some 180 pieces of artillery from the front line.

    The two warring sides initially agreed to withdraw heavy weapons in September of last year, when a ceasefire agreement and a memorandum outlining its implementation were signed.

    However, fighting persisted despite the ceasefire, and escalated dramatically in the first weeks of 2015.

    After Minsk: Will Peace Come to Ukraine? (1049)


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    artillery, weaponry withdrawal, Ukrainian Armed Forces, Ukraine
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