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Donetsk militia starts pulling back heavy weaponry under Minsk memorandum

September 23, 2014, 11:01 UTC+3
“We are complying with the terms of the agreement and are withdrawing heavy artillery, unlike the Ukrainian side,” DPR’s defense minister Vladimir Kononov said
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© ITAR-TASS/Zurab Djavakhadze

DONETSK, September 23. /ITAR-TASS/. Militia in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) has started withdrawing military hardware under the Minsk memorandum, DPR’s defense minister Vladimir Kononov said on Tuesday.

“We are complying with the terms of the agreement and are withdrawing heavy artillery, unlike the Ukrainian side,” Kononov said.

September 22, spokesman for the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Andriy Lysenko said Kiev's forces had started preparations to withdraw heavy weaponry from frontline positions.

“The army and other law enforcement units have started preparations to fulfil the agreements reached in Minsk. In particular, there is a preparation to withdraw heavy weaponry 15 kilometers from the settlements,” Lysenko said.

He explained that heavy equipment is to be moved to “other areas” while the servicemen will stay.

The Contact Group on Ukraine on September 20 adopted a memorandum outlining the parameters for the implementation of the ceasefire commitments envisaged by the Minsk Protocol of September 5.

The five-point memorandum in particular bans the use of all the types of equipment. The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) has been tasked with controlling the implementation of the memorandum.

The document was signed by OSCE envoy to Ukraine Heidi Tagliavini, former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma, Russia’s Ambassador to Ukraine Mikhail Zurabov, the prime minister of DPR, Alexander Zakharchenko, and the head of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR), Igor Plotnitsky.

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