Updated 5:49 p.m. Moscow Time
MOSCOW, October 10 (RIA Novosti) - Self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) in eastern Ukraine has signed an agreement with Kiev authorities on the establishment of a 'buffer zone' separating the sides of the conflict, DPR leader Alexander Zakharchenko said Friday.
"We have signed an agreement on a buffer zone. The document stipulates that Kiev-led forces will pull out from several towns, including Peski," Zakharchenko told members of his Oplot movement.
Peski is a suburb of Donetsk where Kiev-led forces deployed artillery to carry out the shelling of the city controlled by independence supporters.
According to Zakharchenko, Kiev will retain control of the key towns of Mariupol, Slavyansk and Kramatorsk in the region.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko carried out on Friday an inspection of combat readiness of the government forces involved in a military operation against independence supporters in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
On September 5, representatives for the Ukrainian government and pro-independence forces of eastern Ukraine reached a ceasefire agreement during a Contact Group on Ukraine talks in Minsk. Establishment of a 18-mile buffer zone in the conflict area is one of the provisions of the ceasefire memorandum, formulated at the September 19 meeting of the group.
At least 331 people have been killed in eastern Ukraine in the month after the ceasefire was announced, bringing the total number of victims of the Kiev's military operation to at least 3,660, according to the UN. More than 8,700 people have been injured since the start of the Kiev's campaign against independence supporters in mid-April.
Due to the conflict, Ukraine's southeastern regions have witnessed a severe humanitarian catastrophe, with many citizens struggling without clean water, electricity and other basic necessities.