DONETSK, February 24. /TASS/. Militias of Ukraine's self-proclaimed Donetsk republic (DPR) on Tuesday morning started a full-scale heavy weaponry withdrawal from the separation line, said Eduard Basurin, the DPR Defense Ministry spokesman.
"Today at 9 a.m. our units continued the pullback of heavy weaponry from the separation line," Basurin was quoted by the Donetsk news agency as saying. Some 96 pieces of D-30 artillery weapons are to be withdrawn from Debaltsevo, Gorlovka, Donetsk and Telmanovo.
Militia units of the self-proclaimed Luhansk people’s republic are to start withdrawing rocket artillery from Debaltsevo at noon on Tuesday, said a deputy commander of the militia.
"Today at 12 a.m. rocket artillery will be particularly withdrawn in the area of Debaltsevo," Vitaly Kiselev said.
The joint center for control and coordination of the ceasefire earlier reported that the Donetsk and Luhansk militias had initiated the weaponry pullout already on February 18.
The weaponry withdrawal is expected to last for around two weeks in line with the Minsk agreements, announced after more than 16 hours of discussions in the Belarusian capital on February 12.
Under the new Minsk accords, the Ukrainian army will withdraw weaponry from the actual engagement line while the Donetsk and Luhansk republics’ militias will pull out weapons from the line defined by the September Minsk memorandum.