KIEV, September 21 (RIA Novosti) - The Kiev government forces retreated from the eastern Ukrainian village of Zhdanivka in the Donetsk Region in order to adjust the line of the Kiev-controlled territory so that the Ukrainian troops could not be surrounded, a spokesman for Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council Andriy Lysenko told the press Sunday.
"In order to adjust the line, which is now controlled by the Ukrainian military, it was decided to redeploy our units to new positions and fortify them to [maintain] further control of the situation and for the purpose of preventing the moments when our military could be surrounded," the official explained.
Earlier on Sunday, local self-defense forces reported that the forces of Ukraine's National Guard had fallen back from Zhdanivka toward the city of Debaltseve. The pro-independence forces have already removed the Ukrainian flag from Zhdanivka's main administrative building, replacing it with the flag of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic.
The first meeting of the trilateral Contact Group on the situation in Ukraine held in Minsk on September 5 resulted in the ceasefire agreement between Kiev and southeastern Ukraine's independence supporters, which began that same day. On September 19, the group developed a memorandum including nine provisions concerning the ceasefire between Kiev and independence supports in eastern Ukraine. The memorandum entailed the establishment of a 30 kilometer (approximately 19 miles) buffer zone on the current line of contact to be monitored by the OSCE.