Ukraine: rebel attacks prevent weapons pullback

A Ukrainian military spokesman says continuing attacks from rebels are delaying Ukrainian forces’ pullback of heavy weapons from the front line in the country’s east. Under a peace agreement reached on February 12, both sides are to withdraw their heavy weapons anywhere from 25 to 70 kilometers to create a buffer zone. Ukrainian officials said Sunday that they were planning to begin. However, Lt. Col. Anatoliy Stelmakh told reporters Monday that the moves will not begin until rebel attacks entirely stop, in line with a cease-fire that was called into effect February 15. Stelmakh said there were two artillery attacks overnight and although this is significantly fewer than in previous days, “as long as firing on Ukrainian military positions continues, it’s not possible to talk about a pullback.”



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