Ukraine conflict troops begin pullout

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Ukrainian government troops and Russian backed separatists have started withdrawing from a key front line area in eastern Ukraine.

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

According to reports, both sides had fired coloured signalling rockets to mark both sides’ withdrawal.

The agreement
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 October 9.

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 October 17 and the withdrawal began on Tuesday once the organization for security and cooperation in Europe, 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).

 

BBC/Christopher Ojilere